By: Tadala Chiomba
As the world was commemorating the 16 Days of Activism from 25 November to10 December, 2021, Ivy (Not her real name) a 17 years old girl and her poor mother will be dying in silence an an aborted dream to go to school. The 17 year old Ivy was impregnated at the age of 16 and due to her condition, she was forced to be married an old rich man in Liundi village, TA Mposa in Machinga District.
A 40 years old man, Jamson Kachisa who owns lots of properties started showering the girl with gifts and money in 2020 when the girl was 16 years and was in form 1 by then at Chilimba Secondary School, due to the poverty levels at her home, Ivy got trapped and she could not refuse the gifts. Seven months later, Ivy dropped out of school at Chilimba Secondary School and this is when her secret affairs with the old rich man was known by her parents. When her parents knew about it they called the man and did all the necessary arrangements for marriage, unfortunately, he never married her because he has a wife already but he promised to take good care of her and the child when its born.
Two months later, she gave birth to a baby boy, the man took all the responsibilities as promised until she noticed that he has changed and never cared for them anymore. She is now living in fear because the man has been telling people that he is tired and not interested with her. According to one informant (who did not want her name to me mentioned) said that the man wishes Ivy (victim) dead. Currently, the victim is receiving death threats from the man and her wife.
The girl and her mother swore to seek justice on their matter with the man by reporting him to Machinga Police Station. Despite having the nearest Police Station at Mposa, her parents are opting for a police about 20km away as the man seems to have developed good relationship with Police officers at the Mposa and they think justice will not be followed and delivered.
This case calls for Civil Society organization in the Child Right like NGO – CCR, Machinga Women’s Forum and Women Lawyers Association to intervene and assistant the victims to get justice for herself and child.
Malawi currently has a School re-entry and re-admission policy of 2015, the policy seeks to promote girls education by addressing barriers that result in learners, especially girls, from dropping out of school and completing the education cycles at both primary and secondary schools. The policy also seeks to contribute towards realization of aspirations of Malawi Government as stipulated in the Malawi Vision 2020, Malawi Constitution, the Education Act, the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS III) and the National Education Policy.