POLICE in Namwala District disrupted weekend plans of wedding guests as they halted an underage marriage ceremony before arresting the groom aged 18 and taking his 14 year old bride into social welfare.
Following the police raid, the bride’s brother aged 35, said to have been in the forefront of organising the illegal marriage fled, never to be seen again after police arrested the young groom and his father.
It all started when the alarm was raised by a vigilant member of the community, who bravely stepped forward to protect the female learner from an imminent marriage.
The young Grade 7 pupil at a school in Namwala, was unknowingly about to have her dreams crushed as her nuptials were scheduled for last Friday.
As the marriage was fast approaching, with the dowry already paid the community informant, unwilling to stand idly by, diligently monitored the elaborate preparations leading up to the ceremony.
With the fateful hour drawing near, the community members’ resolve to stop the marriage hardened, like the Zambian goal Keeper, Lawrence Mulenga against Ivory Coast to keep a clean sheet in last Saturday’s 3-0 victory and they promptly alerted the authorities, who sprang into action without hesitation.
Like a well-oiled machine, the combined forces of the police and Social Welfare officers surged towards the village, determined to rescue the young dreamer from the clutches of an undesirable union.
With unparalleled bravery, the police arrived at the scene just in the nick of time and swiftly apprehended the parents responsible for arranging the marriage and the alleged groom himself, local cattle herder.
Shockingly, the girl’s own brother, aged 35 and working as a farmer, was exposed as the mastermind behind this heinous plot.
However, the cunning brother managed to elude capture, disappearing into the wilderness.
Ensuring the girl’s immediate safety was paramount, and the diligent officers wasted no time in whisking her away from the dire situation. She was swiftly transported to a secure social welfare facility, where she would find solace, protection, and the necessary support services to rebuild her shattered world.
The relentless pursuit of justice did not falter even after the rescue. Two of the perpetrators, including the supposed groom and his father, were apprehended and now reside behind bars.
Police public relations officer Godfrey Chilabi confirmed the arrest to Kalemba.
“The two suspects including supposed groom and his father are currently in police custody,” Chilabi said.
“The suspect have been charged for marrying off a learner contrary to Section 18 of the Education Act No. 23 of 2011.”
As for the girl’s brother, the police are determined to bring him to justice, leaving no stone unturned in their quest to right this terrible wrong.
By Moses Makwaya
Kalemba June 19, 2023