Child prostitution is a troubling issue that is increasingly causing concern among stakeholders in Child Care and Protection in Mzimba District where girls as young as 11 years old are commercial sex workers.
Mzimba District Social Welfare Officer, Jim Wotchi said in addition to Mzimba Boma, such cases are common in major trading centres such as Jenda and Euthini.
“Last month for example, we were at Jenda Trading Centre where the teen-age prostitution has reached alarming levels. We met a lot of girls in drinking joints, which was very pathetic,” he told the stakeholders meeting.
He said his office engaged owners of drinking joints to stop accepting minors at their places as one way of arresting the situation.
“We will further engage other relevant stakeholders in March this year, 2020 in the district in our awareness campaigns to civic educate them on this issue,” he said.
Mzimba Community Policing (Youth and Child Protection) Officer, Maxwell Chimphonda said they, as police, ensure that children are not involved in prostitution.
“We do not work on our own but with other organisations where we civic educate parents together with their children on how these children can be protected.
“It is a matter of helping each other as we rely on people out there to end this malpractice and make sure all children are given equal opportunities,” Chimphonda said.
Molles Nyirongo, a parent of five children said one of her daughters is involved in the prostitution, which has been causing stress to her.
She said: “I have tried to raise my children well even though I am a single mother, but my third born child, 15, is engaged in prostitution which is a threat to her life,” she said, sounding worried.