Jul 27, 2017 Last Updated 2:30 PM, Jul 26, 2017
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A 2017 United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report indicates that the premature birth rate for Malawi continues to increase.

Authorities are being pressed to ensure that proper Antenatal care is provided, for premature birth rates to reduce.

The report singles out the current levels of child marriage, as the main contributor to rising premature birth rates.

It further states that in developing countries like Malawi, 14.2 million girls marry annually.

Young girls’ reproductive organs are not fully developed to embrace pregnancy and this can result in premature birth.

Complications of pregnancy and childbirth are also the leading cause of death in young women aged 15-19.

Child marriage is a global issue and most child marriages take place in rural sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

In sub-Saharan Africa more than one third of young women are married by their 18th birthday.

There are fears that this will continue to increase the expanding youth population.

Malawi is amongst the 10 countries with the highest rates of child marriage, currently at 50%.

Commenting on the 2017 UNICEF report, the president of the Society of Medical Doctors in Malawi, Douglas Lungu, says if pregnant women attend antenatal clinics cases of premature birth can be minimised.

To ensure a reduction of premature births and early child marriages, girls need to be encouraged to stay in school, and not be encouraged at a young age to have children, when they are children themselves.  

The Machinga First Grade Magistrate Court in Liwonde has fined 21 year old Kaloti Javelo, MK250, 000 for reckless driving.

The offence is contrary to section 126 of the Road Traffic Act.

The court heard that the suspect was driving an unregistered motorcycle and that he has no driving license.

It is reported that Kaloti Javelo also bumped a four year old child at Nsanama Trading Center, which resulted in serious head injuries for the child.

Presenting facts in court, Prosecutor Cliff Kalawa based at Ntaja Police Post, told the court that the accused deserved a stiffer punishment for the offence committed.

This he said this is due to the injury of the four year, who was admitted to Machinga district hospital.

Javelo pleaded guilty to the offence, but Kalawa further prayed for a meaningful sentence to the convict as such cases are rampant.

In his defence, the convict asked for a fair punishment saying he is young and also a first offender.

When passing judgment First Grade Magistrate, Jones Masula concurred with the state on the need for a stiffer punishment.

Masula added that the convict had to be punished because many motorcyclists on the country’s roads do not put into consideration of other road users.

Such damages and loss of lives according to the magistrate are at an increase therefore, Javelo was fined MK100, 000 for reckless driving, Mk50, 000 for using an unregistered motorcycle on the road, MK15, 000 for having no insurance and another MK50, 000 for cycling without a license.

Javelo has to serve a four year jail term with hard labour.

 Accidents on Malawi’s roads have been on the increase with over 300 people losing their lives from the month of January to May.

This has prompted law enforcers to implement extra measures which will in the long run help reduce the number of accidents.

The Machinga First Grade Magistrate court sitting at Liwonde court in Malawi on Monday convicted and sentenced Lucius Katimbe to 14 years imprisonment with hard labour for robbery and rape.

According to the country’s laws, 43 year old Katimbe’s offences are contrary to section 301 and 133 of the Penal Code.

Presenting facts in court, prosecutor Richard Kandeya based at Nselema police post told the court that during the night of 11th February 2017, the 56 year old victim met her fate when she was sleeping alone.

It is reported that she heard a breaking sound and saw two men entering her house.

One of them was identified as Koloko who had a panga knife and threatened her while tying her both hands and legs using ropes of her chitenje cloth.

The two stole four pieces of chitenje clothes, five litres of cooking oil, two bags of maize and MK7,400 cash, both cash, items valued at MK45,000 and before leaving the house, they all raped her.

The victim easily identified them as they all came from the same village and she later reported them to Nselema police post but only one of the suspects was arrested.

In court, the accused denied all the charges which made the state parade three witnesses to prove the matter beyond reasonable doubt.

After pleading guilty, prosecutor Kandeya asked the court to impose a stiffer punishment to the convict for he committed serious offences and no recovery was made.

In mitigation the convict prayed for fair punishment for he is a first offender.

When passing judgment, First Grade Magistrate Jones Masula concurred with the state and sentenced him to 14 years in jail for each offence and that the sentences will run concurrently.

The convict hails from Mtutile village, Traditional Authority Nyambi in Machinga District.

The Malawi Under-17 national soccer team is relishing a 100 percent record when they face hosts Mauritius on Wednesday in their last Group A match of the Cosafa Youth Championship in Port Louis.

The Junior Flames won their two opening matches against Botswana (2-0) and Zimbabwe (5-0) to top the group.

Wednesday’s encounter will determine the top team as they are tied on points but the Junior Flames have a better goal difference.

Junior Flames coach DeKlerk Msakakuona has said they anticipate a potentially explosive encounter.

“This will be our toughest game so far because we are up against the hosts and being the joint leaders, pride is at stake.

“Obviously both teams will be aiming at completing the group stage with an impressive record. So, it will be an exciting match,” he said.

Team captain Hadji Wali also said they are expecting a tough match.

“We know that the atmosphere will be intimidating, but we are geared for the encounter and we are not panicking.

“The most important thing will be to maintain concentration and not lose our cool,” he said.

The winners are likely to face Zambia who top Group B while the team that finishes second is tipped to face South Africa in the semis.

Junior Flames probable line-up Line up: Kennedy Nankhama, Innocent Shema, Tathedwa Willard, Hadji Wali (C), David Daudi, Auspicoius Kadzongola, Prince Chingancheke, Joseph Balakasi, Franklin Titani, Chinsinsi Maonga.

Malawi’s Director of Tourism in the Ministry of Trade, Isaac Katopola, is admitting that bad road infrastructure is affecting the accessibility of Nyika National Park.

He believes this is leading to failure by the public to fully utilise the facility.

This follows concerns raised by a group of Malawians called friends of Nyika Plateau, recently, over the poor condition of the road network to the park and poor accommodation found at the area.

Recently, CNN Travel named the park, which is the largest in Malawi, as one of the best places to travel to in Africa.

He has since stressed the need for urgent rehabilitation of the road leading to the park, adding that it is one facility that can help generate foreign currency for the country.

Katopola however points out that the responsibility of rehabilitating the road lies in the hands of the department of public works.

Nyika National Park covers practically the whole of the Nyika Plateau in northern Malawi, about 480 km north of the capital, Lilongwe and 60 km north of Rumphi by road.

 Access is by a single dirt road which branches north off the road from Rumphi to the Katumbi border post, and winds its way up the south-western scarp of the plateau.

It continues over the top, where it forms the border with Zambia, then descends the north-west scarp in a series of bends, and continues north to the Chisenga border post.

On the top of the plateau, a spur goes east to Chelinda, the headquarters of the park nearer the centre. Although the park boundary comes within 35 km of Livingstonia there is no access from the eastern side.

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