Police must deal with pregnant schoolgirls, says Tanzanian official
An official in Tanzania has called for a police crackdown against pregnant schoolgirls.
Arusha Regional Administrative Secretary Richard Kwitega told The Citizen newspaper the authorities were not doing enough about rising pregnancy rates.
According to Mr Kwitega, 333 schoolgirls became pregnant in his district – of whom 81 were still in primary school – in 2016 and 2017.
But instead of suggesting better education may be the best way to reduce the numbers in future, Mr Kwitega revealed his frustration lay with the police.
“Despite reporting the matter to the police, no legal action is taken against a majority of the students,” he said.
Last year, Tanzania’s President John Magufuli said teen mums should not be allowed to return to school.
A law passed in 2002 allows for the expulsion of pregnant schoolgirls, justifying the decision on the grounds the girls had committed “offences against morality” and “wedlock”.
Men who get the girls pregnant face a possible 30 years behind bar, Mr Magufuli has also warned.