President Emmerson Mnangagwa

President Mnangagwa condemns child marriages

EARLY marriages are evil practices which have no place in Zimbabwe as they undermine the rights of children, President Mnangagwa has said.

The President Emmerson Mnangagwa said religious and traditional leaders should play the key role of ensuring such practices are brought to an end.

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He said this while launching the High Level Political Compact initiative, adding the his Government had shown its commitment towards ending gender-based violence and evil practices such as early marriages.

“In launching this High-Level Political Compact, my Government remains committed to fully pursue its goal, which is: To Eradicate all forms of Gender-based Violence and Harmful Practices by 2030.

“We will work with all stakeholders under the whole of Government and Whole of Society Approach to fulfill the vision and goal of this Compact.

“The importance of the role being played by our religious and traditional leaders as custodians of our religious and traditional customs cannot be over-emphasised.

“Our democratic system has given space to citizens to affiliate with cultural and religious groupings of their choice,” he said.

The eradication of gender-based violence is expected to catapult the participation of women in the development of the country with President Mnangagwa confirming that the alignment of laws that deal with the vice is being expedited.

“Repugnant practices such as child marriages, which undermine the rights of our children, have no place in our country and should stop forthwith. Similarly, all religious and cultural practices must remain within the confines of what is legal and constitutional,” he said.

He added: “The enactment, harmonisation, alignment and implementation of legislation, policies and programmes on gender equality, women’s rights, Gender-based Violence and harmful practices will be speeded up.

“The decentralisation of Victim Friendly Courts as well as the resourcing of the Legal Aid Directorate remains a priority. This will enhance access to justice and the speedy resolution of cases so that justice is timely dispensed for victims and survivors of Gender-based Violence.

“Concerted efforts will be focused towards capacitating Victim Friendly Units and Victim Friendly Courts,” he added.

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