LINDA SOKO TEMBO writes
CATTLE herding by small boys in Chieftainess Kawaza of the Chewa people in Katete and Sinda districts has been banned to allow them to go to school.
Chieftainess Kawaza said children should stop herding cattle by October 1 and instead adults should take over the responsibility.
Speaking on her behalf to 32 village headmen in Katiula Ward on Tuesday, Induna Kabilima Gibson Phiri said it was important that cattle herding by children was banned as a way curbing illiteracy among the young generation.
Induna Kabilima said the Kawaza chiefdom had many parents who were illiterate and were forcing their children into cattle herding and early marriages, something that Chieftainess Kawaza felt was not right because children were being deprived of their right to education.
“Chieftainess Kawaza said no child can create his own future and that is why she has issued a ban of cattle herding by children. Those who will be found wanting will face punishment because some parents take their children to herd cattle at the expense of seeking their future,” he said.
“Adults should takeover cattle herding so that the young ones can concentrate on their studies,” he said.
Induna Kabilima said the village headmen in the chiefdom had also agreed to work towards ending child marriages and those who had already engaged in such activities to consider breaking them.
He warned that if they did not break under-aged marriages the chieftainess would break them by force so that the children could be given an opportunity to go back to school.
Induna Kabilima said those children who would refuse to go to school when their parents were ready to help them would be referred to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) so that they could be helped to understand the importance of school.