Senga Hill mother earns long prison spell for marrying off Grade 5 daughter

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FROM the drama that unfolded in Senga Hill District, a 50-year-old mother has been handed a 15-year stay in jail.

The same arises from a police raid on a village wedding in that District.

On the fateful day, as the wedding matron and her ensemble of line-up dancers were wriggling their waists and ululating to a Kofi Olomide song, police stormed the wedding venue bringing pandemonium and chaos.

At the sight of police, the matron threw away her long-heeled shoes and embarked on blistering run to the nearby bushes leaving the little Knife Girl bewildered as to whether she had missed some rehearsals where the matron was supposed to turn into Usain Bolt.

With the lineup and matron nowhere in sight, the police kicked the pots of rice, chicken and salads much to the annoyance of the gathered villagers some who had come with personal-to-holder chili to add to their share of the wedding food.

After surveying the scene, police arrested Ireen Namwiinga aged 50 for marrying off her 13-year-old Grade 5 daughter who was the bride at that wedding.

Namwiinga in withdrawing her nubile daughter from class had, by rural standards, been paid a handsome K1,800 by the bridegroom Kabwe Simwiinga and also given chickens, hoes and goats as dowry.

And at trial in the Kasama High Court, Namwiinga oblivious to the gravity of her offence, instead of concentrating on her defence, misused her time in the dock to tell off unmarried spinsters of Senga Hill for allegedly snitching to police over her daughter’s achievement of securing a husband.

In delivering judgement, Justice Derrick Mulenga was satisfied that Namwiinga had broken Section 18 Sub-Section 2 and 3 of the Education Act of Zambia which prohibits marrying off a pupil and handed her the minimum sentence of 15 years in jail.

As she was being led to the prison truck, Namwiinga wailed like a bereaved as reality of her fate dawned nigh.

©Kalemba March 23, 2021

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