What you need to know:
- District Commissioner Sebastian Waryuba ordered the arrest of the pregnant girls as part of his efforts to end teen pregnancy.
- But gender and human rights activists argued that the authorities should arrest the men who sired the babies, not the schoolgirls.
Five pregnant pupils and their parents were arrested in Tandahimba District in Mtwara region of Tanzania in a crackdown, following an order by District Commissioner Sebastian Waryuba.
The schoolgirls and their parents were, however, released on bail.
FATHERS ON THE RUN
This was revealed by District Administrative Secretary Mohamed Azizi on behalf of Mr Waryuba.
According to Mr Azizi, authorities are still looking for the men who impregnated the girls – they vanished shortly after the DC issued the directive for their arrest.
“We have managed to arrest the girls and their parents but unfortunately those who impregnated the girls have escaped and we are looking for them,” said Mr Azizi.
Child pregnancies in Tandahimba have been on the rise.
In 2015 some 20 cases were reported while in 2017 some 27 cases were recorded.
Speaking during a district consultative committee meeting earlier last week, Mr Waryuba said the schoolchildren and their parents should be detained pending investigations.
His directive is part of the efforts to end pregnancies among students in the district.
Mr Waryuba said it was intolerable that 55 schoolgirls should be expelled from school because they are pregnant.
But gender and human rights activists have decried his directive. They argued that the authorities should arrest the men who sired the babies, not the students.