Home / World News / Pregnant schoolgirls arrested in Tanzania to find the fathers, say police

Pregnant schoolgirls arrested in Tanzania to find the fathers, say police

Five pregnant schoolgirls were arrested in Tanzania so the men who had sex with them can be traced, authorities say.

The girls were held last week and later released on bail, Tandahimba District Commissioner Sebastian Waryuba said.

He said police were looking to question two other girls in the district, which is on the Mozambique border, so they can help with information on the men who impregnated them.

Tandahimba Is located in the district of Mtwara
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Tandahimba Is located in the district of Mtwara

Men who get schoolgirls pregnant in the East African nation face at least 30 years in prison.

The sentences are meant to stop girls under the legal age of 18 getting married as well as teenage pregnancies, which lead to school dropouts.

However, the authorities have been highly criticised for not allowing girls back to school after they have given birth.

In June last year, Tanzania’s president John Magufuli faced condemnation after sending out a threatening warning.

He told a rally of schoolgirls: “After getting pregnant, you are done.”

President John Magafuli last year said schoolgirls who get pregnant 'are done'
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Tanzania’s president John Magafuli after his election in 2015

In 2002, a law was passed which allowed girls to be expelled from school for getting pregnant.

The law says girls can be expelled and excluded from school for “offences against morality” and “wedlock”.

Human Rights Watch said many girls experience sexual harassment and exploitation by teachers and schools lack adequate protection and confidential reporting mechanisms.

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