Mutasa North MP to champion girl child rights in her constituency…move set to curb prevalence of teenage pregnancies

By Tafadzwa Muranganwa

Last year Manicaland recorded the highest teenage pregnancy prevalence rates in the country, according to statistics from the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC).

The province’s prevalence rate was at 27 percent   above the national average of 22 percent.

This is one of the fights among others affecting the girl child  which Mutasa North MP  Chido Madiwa is prepared to take in her constituency where the scourge is also rife.

In an interview with Radio VOP ,the female legislator who is a  holder of a Master of Arts degree in Applied Community Change and Conservation attained at the Future Generations  Graduate School in  West Virginia ,USA, is already partnering with some local Non-Governmental Organisations to curb the high teenage pregnancies but has also other women development issues lined up.

“I have identified a number of organisations that include FACT, World Vision and Plan International to   make sure that we are able to stem out this menace,” revealed the former St David’s Bonda Mission student.

The Johanne Marange Apostolic church has been over the years cited as the main reason for the upsurge in teenage pregnancies but the legislator who grew up in the same church says there has been a lot of positive engagement with members of the most followed church in the area.

“I appreciate that I grew up in the church which I believe moulded me to be where I am. While the issue of teenage pregnancies is still rampant in the church we have done a great   deal of engagement with members.

“But it should be noted that however it is now a false notion that only Vapostori are fuelling teenage pregnancies there are other factors,” argued the Mutasa North legislator.

The gender champion   is credited for establishing the Chido Madiwa Scholarship which seeks to help disadvantaged girls in Mutasa North and   one beneficiary who was at Sahumani Secondary School   has so far benefited from the initiative.

She has also created women and men’s football league to promote grassroots   sports.

The Zanu PF legislator said she will also use her role as a former director of gender in the ministry of women affairs, gender and community development to formulate policies, strategies   and programmes that promote participation of women in her area in national development.

Madiwa who made it   among the few 26 women legislators out of  the 210 parliamentary seats in last year’s harmonised elections.