Mzimba District Commissioner (DC) Thomas Chirwa has, in strongest terms, condemned growing tendencies by youths in Mzimba who migrate to Republic of South Africa, ostensibly is search of greener pastures, trends he said greatly contribute to socio-economic challenges rocking some communities in the district .
Chirwa challenged that youngsters, who trek to South Africa, most of them teenagers, contribute nothing to the development of their communities which brought them up, besides perpetuating poverty in their families they dump in Mzimba.
The DC made the outburst during a meeting organized by Help a Child (HAC) Malawi, held at Mame Motel, at Mzimba Boma.
HAC, a Child welfare affiliated international organization, organized the meeting to brief M’mbelwa District Council officials and stakeholders on the pre and post assessment results of a Parenting Challenge Project which is being piloted at Edingeni area, in Paramount Chief M’mbelwa 5, in Mzimba and in Traditional Authority Zilakoma, in NkhataBay and was launched in 2017..
The objective of the project is to improve parenting skills for mothers, fathers and care givers, through practical parenting group sessions, where child care, nutrition security, health and education of a child, among others, become subject matters.
Mzimba DC, who has suddenly taken a tough stand on migration issue, said the biggest crime youths who opt to seek jobs in South Africa commit is to push responsibility of looking after their children in the hands of their parents, some too old while others without slightest capacity to provide quality care to their grand children for their proper growth and development.
Said Chirwa, “ These teenagers leave behind their expectant wives and children in their tender ages, who are in dire need of proper care, in terms of provision of food and clothes, for the enhancement of their proper growth and development so that they become responsible community members in their adulthood.”
He said it becomes worst when the young men who migrate to South Africa decide to marry in a foreign land, a situation, he said, forces most of them to completely abandon families in Malawi, which are eventually plunged in misery and abject poverty.
The DC emphasized that proper child care is the responsibility of both, a woman and the husband, which he said begins right at the time of conception.
“The type of care the expectant woman is given, in areas of nutrition, medication, love and environment, coupled with how the newly born baby is subsequently taken care of, up to an age of 18 years or so, determines the caliber of a person the baby will graduate into, in adult hood,” said Chirwa
Meanwhile, Chirwa said he has already engaged Chiefs and other traditional leaders to seriously scrutinize the youths seeking their authorization to travel to South Africa, in terms of their ages, marital status and plans on how to manage their families once they grab a job in Zulu Land.
“My office which receives thousands of passport applications from youths, most of them below 20 years, will intensify vetting of applicants to flash out youths not eligible for the passport”. Said Chirwa.
Besides the harm inflicted to families and communities at large, Youths migration to South Africa, to a larger extent, is blamed for the dwindling education standards in primary schools in MZimba.
For three years now, Mzimba South has performed horribly poor in primary school leaving certificate examinations which has become a major concern to education authorities.
Mzimba South District Education Manager (DEM), Fanwel Chiwowa said there is serious erosion of interest in education by both, parents and learners.
“Mediocre performance by learners is a result of lack of encouragement from parents who have lost interest in education of their children way back since most of them can not appreciate the benefit of investing in education at the moment .” Said Chiwowa.
Random interviews with parents who spend resources, like cows, goats and other belongings, to finance trips for their young boys to South Africa, revealed that youths migration to RSA is the easiest way for their children to amass wealth than they could if they remained in class.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :