Starving African Villagers Trade Daughters as Sacrafice to feed their Families
MASVINGO -As hunger wrecks havoc in arid Masvingo province, some desperate and starving villagers in Chikombedzi in the Low-veld district of Chiredzi are giving their daughters away in marriage for as little as ten bags of maize each to elderly businessmen.
In a visit to Chikombedzi last week, theDaily Newslearnt with shock that some villagers claiming to have harvested very little maize last season due to poor rains and input shortages are exchanging girls as young as 14 to elderly businessmen for maize or maize meal.
The businessmen cross the border into South Africa where they buy large stocks of maize meal to sell to the starving villagers.
Most of the villagers cannot pay in cash so they end up exchanging their daughters for maize meal.
Some of the young girls are given away in marriage for 10 bags of maize each.
“We have no option that’s why we are trading our daughters this way because we can’t let the rest of the family starve to death. In any case ,the girl child will get married and leave the family, so we don’t see any problem with that,” said Hlalati Baloyi of Mhlanguleni village.
Chief Chilonga from the same district was quick to defend the practice by his people saying nothing was amiss as it is part of traditiona and is called kuroodza mwana which is done during times of crisis like drought.
“I don’t think this should attract debate from people in the country. What we are doing is not something out of this world if we are to consider some of our traditional practices. You know very well that our fore fathers did this sort of thing, especially in times of drought and here we are experiencing it so we cant let our families die when tradition allows us to give away our daughters in marriage," said Chief Chilonga.
He said that his people will only stop the practice if they get food aid from the government.
TheDaily Newsunderstands that some donor oaganisations were forced to pull out of the area by Zanu PF officials who accused them of pushing the regime change agenda in cahoots with MDC.
Efforts to get a comment from the Provincial Adminstrator Felix Chikovo were fruitless.
Children rights groups have criticised the villagers and urged the government to take action as the practice was violating the girl child rights.
Sungano Zvarebwanashe, a representative of The Girl-Child Network in Masvingo said the government should see that those who forced their daughters into such
marriages should be arrested and tried.
“Government should instruct police to arrest all those who are doing this. They are violating children rights by forcing minors into marriages with old men who already have their wives. It is utter rubbish to claim that they were doing a traditional practice in this modern world,” she said.
She added that besides violating child rights the young girls were exposed to the risk of teh deadly HIV and AIDS from these men as some have scores of partners .
OUR HELP IS NEEDED!!
This is truly heart aching, us Americans just don't realize how good we have it. We can't even make up our minds to what we are going to eat for our next meal. The worst part about this is the rumors that these men are not really taking them into marriage, but selling them into sexual slavery. The world we live in is so terrible and Demonic!!
HOSANNA ! (SAVE US NOW!) The only one thing we can rely on is God's word. There is hope in the Morning Light ; the bible says that the day is closer than ever when things will be made new and the planet wiped clean of all sin and destruction..
Signs of the end age from Jesus :
Luke 21 11There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
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