Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has called on the government to publicly engage apostolic sect churches that are still involved in child marriages as part of efforts to tame the vice that continues to destroy the future of young girls in the country.
In the Zimbabwe Peace Project Monthly Monitoring Report for August 2021, ZPP urged the government to call out the sect’s abusive doctrines and to publicly engage the sect leaders to make sweeping changes to the practices.
“Police should be empowered and capacitated to deal with any cases of abuse of women and children. Police can play a leading role in educating the sect members on the rights of children and women and they should be able to apprehend any of those found on the wrong side of the law,” said ZPP.
ZPP also highlighted that sect leaders should open up their sect sessions to the police so that they impart education to members on the rights of women and children.
According to ZPP, Johane Marange sect has been receiving preferential treatment from the ruling partyover the years resulting in their side swipes with the law being ignored.
“The Johane Marange sect is believed to boost Zanu PF’s votes as seen by the frequency with which Zanu PF leaders visit the shrine,” added ZPP.
This comes after Memory Machaya aged 14 was married off to Hatirarami Momberume and died while giving birth. Her parents, who are members of the same apostolic sect attempted to cover up the crime as it was some kind of a normal practice that young girls get married as part of the sect’s doctrine.
The United Nations and many rights groups expressed disquiet over the prevalence of these forced marriages within the sect.