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.