A powerful and influential chief in Dedza has warned drastic action against parents who will marry off their children during the three-week Covid-19 holiday.
Senior Chief Kachindamoto says she will deal with such parents in her area.
She says she is focused on ensuring that boys and girls from her area at least complete secondary education. She says anyone who forcing any child into marriage will be ordered to bring a cow as fine.
Kachindamoto has asked village heads and group village heads to make sure all their subjects adhere to Covid-19 preventive measures in the area.
On Sunday, President Lazarus Chakwera said he has learnt with concern that some boarding schools have let students go home before being certified by health personnel.
He has since ordered schools that are yet to release students to wait until all protocols have been met.
“Sadly, we have learnt that some boarding schools sent students home without authorisation from health authorities, which has the risk of further spreading the virus to vulnerable groups in the community. This has l ed to confusion among the parents of school boarders about whether to keep their children in school or bring them home.
“So, I want to state this matter as clearly as I can: If your boarding school has students on campus, those students must remain on campus, and the health authorities will reach you to provide support for managing the students who are infected and those who are not.
“If your boarding school has sent students home in the past week, parents and guardians must keep those students in isolation for the next two weeks, and then get them tested before they return to school when schools reopen at my direction.”
Chakwera has also asked parents to place students who left without the said protocols in isolation for two weeks.