A-50-year-old woman of Kaunda Village in Senga Hills district has been sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment simple imprisonment, by the Kasama High Court, for marrying off her 13-year-old daughter.
In this matter, Ireen Namwinga was charged with marrying off a leaner or a child below the age of 16, contrary to section 18 Sub-section (2), paragraph (a) and Sub-section (3) of Education Act no 23 of the Laws of Zambia.
Facts before the court were that Namwinga with drew her daughter from schooling at a named school and married off her daughter on to Kabwe Simwinga on 11th July 2020.
When the matter came up for sentencing before Ndola based High Court Justice Derrick Mulenga sitting in the Kasama High Court established that on the material day there was a wedding for the minor, after her mother got K1800, checkens, hoes and goats as dowry from the bride.
Justice Mulenga stated that concerned members of the community reported the matter to police who later disrupted the wedding and apprehended the mother of the minor.
In mitigation, the Namwinga pleaded for court’s leniency through her Senior Northern Province Legal Aid Counsel Keith Katazo, saying it was a culture of the Mambwe which made her to marry off the child at a tender age coupled with ignorance of the law.
But in response, Justice Mulenga said ignorance is not a defence in Law saying he wanted to send a strong warning to the public so as to deter would-be offenders of such offence and sentenced her accordingly. T