Dr Christopher Kalilla, Member of Parliament for Lukulu East and Honourable Ms. Princess Kasune, Member of Parliament for Keembe Constituency who are on the Advisory Board of the Parliamentary Caucus on Sexual Reproductive and Health Rights (PCSRHR) of the National Assembly of Zambia led a group of fellow Members of Parliament for a Public Hearing at Chisamba District Council Hall on Monday, 6th March, 2023. The main objective of the public hearing was to explain to participants and hear from them on the Children’s Code Act number 12 of 2022. Among participants in the Public Hearing were Chief Chamuka  and Chief Liteta who are chiefs based in Chisamba and Liteta respectively. In addition, were senior staff from key Government Departments and Non-Governmental Organisations in the District.

The Delegation was received by the District Commissioner Mr. Joel Mboyoma, the Council Chairperson and the Council Secretary. During the Public hearing, Dr Kalila, explained that some of the salient issues in the Children’s Code Act included teenage pregnancies, criminalisation of child marriages, children’s rights, child labour and gender-based violence.

The Public Hearing heard from Chief Chamuka who explained the need for clear punishment for perpetrators for vices such as gender-based violence, child defilement. Further, he explained that cases should not be withdrawn in court once the case is on. Others who contributed to the hearing were the Zambia Police Chisamba Officer in Charge, a Head Teacher at a school in Chisamba, the Local Resident Magistrate, A Social Welfare Officer, an Officer from the Department of Health and a Labour Officer, among others. The public hearing meeting was closed by the Chisamba Council Chairperson who expressed appreciation to Dr Kalila and all Members of Parliament for interacting with the people of Chisamba to sensitise them about the Children’s Code Act. Members of Parliament also visited Chisamba Primary and Secondary Schools and interacted with pupils. Members of Parliament explained the need for pupils to know their rights in the Children’s Code Act. They also encouraged the pupils to be responsible and not fall prey to bad vices and peer pressures that culminate into teenage pregnancies and early marriages.

Other Members of Parliament who were part of the public hearing were as follows:

  1. Ms. Sibongile Mwamba, MP for Kasama Central Constituency;
  2. Mr. George Kandafula, MP for Serenje Constituency;
  3. Mr. Alan Banda, MP for Chimwemwe Constituency;
  4. Mr. Edgar Sing’ombe, MP for Dundumwezi Constituency;
  5. Mr. Chinga Miyutu, MP for Kalabo Central Constituency;
  6. Mr. Misheck Mutelo, MP for Mitete Constituency;
  7. Mr. Cliff Mpundu, MP for Chembe Constituency; and
  8. Mr. Pavyuma Kalobo, MP for Wusakile Constituency.

Members of Parliament were accompanied by staff from the following Cooperating Partners:

  1. Ms. Alice Saili, Team Leader, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Zambia;
  2. Mr. Kelvin Ngoma, Executive Director, Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSII);
  3. Dr Lungowe Matakala, Executive Director,  Beyond Research; and
  4. Mr. Josphat Njobvu, Executive Director, Advocates for Child Justice.

The Children’s Code Act number 12 of 2022 can be found on the National Assembly Website on the link