Traditional leaders in Matabeleland South have decried the level of moral decadence amongst youths in the province which has resulted in escalating rates of teenage pregnancy.
Speaking at a workshop held at a local hotel, Thursday, by Masakhaneni Projects Trust a number of headmen said youths are now becoming hard to control.
“Due to economic hardships most children have dropped out of school,” said Msizi Ncube of Maphane.
“They spend most of their time idle and turn to sexual activities. This has seen most of the children falling pregnant, for some, it’s even before they finish primary education.”
The headmen said some of these children are curious and want to experiment what they learn at school hence they end up falling pregnant.
Sibongile Moyo from Sibonanga village said the issue of children’s rights blew things out of proportion.
“The problem is the issue of rights was not fully explained and comprehended. Children think they cannot be told anything neither can they be disciplined. Parents should create healthy relationships with their children and equip them for life.
“The society has deviated from the traditional way of teaching children about life. Aunts and uncles used to be the source of knowledge and wisdom. The fact that they are now discussing this with their biological parent has made them view parents as their age mates,” she lamented.
Rogers Sibanda of Manongwe village said traditionally children were raised to respect any elderly person they interact with.
“There is a lot of disrespect from children towards their adults. They treat their parents/guardians as though they were their siblings. This has created a lot of hostility between children and their elders,” said Sibanda.
An official from Maskhaneni Projects Trust, Nothabo Sibanda urged traditional to adhere to the Constitution and Traditional Leaders Act when dealing with issues of allocating land to villagers in their respective areas.
They emphasised on the importance of leading the people according to the country’s laws.
“The Constitution declared the traditional leaders as an institution and thus you are legally supposed to lead the people.
with the people if the person is suitable and if there is enough space or them to put up.” When you execute your duties, it is important to adhere to the constitution and the Traditional Leaders Act,” said Sibanda.
“This enables you to make legal decisions when you deal with issues that affect people within your jurisdiction.”