Child Marriages Wreak Havoc In Chipinge
7 August 2021

By Desdemona Munengwa| The continued closure of schools has had adverse effects on young girls in Chipinge as it has resulted in a sharp rise in teenage pregnancies and child marriage cases since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak early last year.

According to Likhani Muvhamba who works for Chipinge based Platform for Youth and Community Development (PYCD), lockdowns have worsened ill behaviour among children.

“Checheche is a fast growing into a town and children who live in and around the growth point are engaging in mischievous behavior, it is now common to see young girls and boys aged below 15 years in bottlestoles and night clubs,” said Muvhamba.

Catherine Vhutuza from ward 20 in Chibuwe, another area hard hit by teenage pregnancies reported many abortion cases.

Vhutuza said in her area, a young grade 7 girl died while giving birth, in a case that has left the area in disbelief.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), over 800 million learners from around the world have been affected, with one in five learners failing to attend elementary school, one in four missing higher education classes.

In an attempt to reduce teenage pregnancies, PYCD gender activist Cynthia Gwenzi said her organization has handled four cases of teen pregnancies in two weeks, three in Chinyamukwakwa and one in Mabee including a tragic one where a 14 year old girl died together with her unborn child.

Platform for Youth and community Development, Claris Madhuku told this publication that in Chipinge district where they have been raising awareness on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, cases of teen pregnancies and early marriages are decreasing.

Recent reports of a young girl from Johane Marange apostolic Church who died during delivery after she was denied access to medical attention left the country shocked with child rights activists calling on government to bring the culprits to book.