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Tanzania issues order for arrest of pregnant schoolgirls

Tanzania are trying to tackle schoolgirls being sexually active.

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In the northern region of Tanzania, Mwanza it has been reported that the authorities have issued orders that district commissioners are to enforce the arresting of all pregnant schoolgirls in the region in order to serve as a lesson to other girls.

During a meeting with education stakeholders, John Mongella who is the regional commissioner said that "There have been a tendency of pregnant schoolgirls not to mention the name of a person who impregnated them. This is a challenge when one is required to testify in court."

He went on to say that pregnant girls should be arraigned before a court to testify against the culprits thereby preventing other girls from engaging in sexual activities.

Also emphasizing what Mongella said was the regions educational officer Michael Lugola who said that their pupils underperformed in the national primary school leaving examination due to pregnancy.

He said 33 pupils have dropped out of school due to teenage pregnancy in 2017 alone.

This decision to arrest the force pregnant pupils to name and testify against culprits will be a breach of human rights principles.

In June 2017, President John Magufuli upheld a 2002 law that banned pregnant schoolgirls from returning to school after giving birth.

He also added that men who impregnated schoolgirls should be imprisoned for 30 years.

Tanzania’s ban on pregnant girls attending state primary and secondary schools dates back to 1961, when the country secured its independence from Britain, though it does not extend to private schools.

More than 55,000 Tanzanian schoolgirls have been expelled from school over the last decade for being pregnant, the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) said in a report in 2013.

Some wealthier families are able to send their daughters to private schools but the majority end up looking for casual work.

The president was under criticism for granting pardon to prisoners on Saturday to two child rapists who were sentenced to life in prison.

Congolese musician, Nguza Viking alias Babu Seya and his son Johnson Nguza alias Papii Kocha were sentenced to life imprisonment in 2010 after they were found guilty of raping and defiling ten primary school pupils between the ages of six and eight in 2003.

There were cheers after the announcement of their release while child rights advocates questioned the decision which did not take the victims into consideration.

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