FIRST LADY Esther Lungu drew emotions at a school in Mumbwa as she shed tears over touching poems delivered by pupils depicting the grave effects of child marriages and pregnancies among other ills they face in society.
The poems also showed how these issues place the education of girls in disarray once they have become victims.
Ms Lungu had earlier engaged the pupils who assembled in a school hall at Nalusanga Secondary School, in a motivational talk touching on issues of encouragement and denouncing social ills against the girl child, a topic close to her heart.
The poems denounced defilement, rape, early marriages and pregnancies, which are vexing issues that society continues to grapple with.
The message also echoed how most under-aged girls were treated once they got pregnant or married off, worse off when they attempted to return to school.
“It is clear that issues of early pregnancies and other sexual offences against our girl child are getting out of hand but this can be fought through team work. The messages are touching and show how the pupils feel about these problems,” Ms Lungu said, in a rare spectacle, which left the packed hall in silence.
Ms Lungu also donated K4,500 through the Parents Teachers Association at the school to purchase uniforms for the under privileged pupils. She also donated 10 bags of mealie meal.
The First Lady proceeded to paying a courtesy call on Chieftainess Kabulwebulwe of the Nkoya people of Mumbwa District where she appealed to the traditional ruler to join in addressing issues hindering the progression of girl pupils especially in rural areas where the vices were rife.
Ms Lungu is on a tour of Central Province.
“We need to work together to fight this scourge and ensure our children are protected,” she said.
She pledged to ensure underaged girls that were married off, were withdrawn from wedlock and taken back to school.
Chieftainess Kabulwebulwe expressed concern over issues of underage marriages and that her chiefdom was no exception from the trend.
She said it was important that young girls were protected and their education prospects remained guaranteed.
She said the First Lady’s visit indicated commitment attached to issues affecting the people and showed that President Edgar Lungu had a heart for his people.
She appealed to Government to put up better roads in her area and provide safe drinking water as well as ensure farmers that sold maize to the Food Reserve Agency were paid their dues on time.
Ms Lungu also visited women’s clubs to familiarise herself with how they managed affairs in earning a living.
She was happy with the women’s creativity and pledged continued support towards women empowerment so that they too played a vital role in national development.
She donated K15,000 to the women’s clubs in Mumbwa and urged the custodians to put the money to beneficial use.