Vendors and hawkers have been warned against taking children to vending sites, whether designated or undesignated, as this is against the law.
Susan Ngani, who is the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare’s Harare provincial social welfare officer, told The Sunday Mail that Child Justice Bill will empower authorities take the parents to court for prosecution. She said:
These children are being abused, so, under the Child Justice Bill, we will be able to arrest and take these parents to court for prosecution.
Ngani said the Children’s Act has been in existence for some time although it was not being enforced.
She said the government was working on a Child Justice Bill for the protection of children’s rights. Part of Chapter 5:06 of the Children’s Act reads:
Any parent or guardian of a child or young person who allows that child or young person or any person who causes any child or young person — (a) to beg; or (b) to accompany him or any other person while he begs; or (c) to induce or to endeavour to induce the giving of alms; or (d) to perform or be exhibited in any way for public entertainment in a manner likely to be detrimental to the child’s or young person’s health, morals, mind or body; shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine or to imprisonment.
Ngani said a day-care centre is set to be established in Harare’s central business district (CBD) for vendors and parents working in town to leave their children under the care of skilled social workers during the day. She said:
A building has already been identified for that. Globally, daycare centres have become popular. This initiative was long overdue.
We are also engaging traditional leaders to ensure all children in villages go to school to break the cycle of poverty in all areas.
Harare City Council acting spokesperson Innocent Ruwende said all offending vendors are ferried in council trucks regardless of their parental status.
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