Women’s rights groups have called for the prosecution of a Zimbabwean man who married and impregnated a 14-year old teenage girl.
Last week, news circulated regarding a teenage girl, Memory Machaya, 14 years of age who died while giving birth at a church shrine.
According to Local media in Zimbabwe, the girl was forced to drop out of school while doing form one to get married to Evans Momberume.
11 armed “police officers” attended at my place of residence for purposes of arresting me on false allegations that I had created a litigant.
Now there is a guy out there who impregnated a 14 year old. The toddler died during child birth. This is when you act. pic.twitter.com/vi7KoFqs54
— Thabani Mpofu (@adv_fulcrum) August 7, 2021
The United Nations and other opposition groups have ideally called on Zimbabwean authorities to arrest the man responsible for the pregnancy and have him prosecuted according to the law so as to serve as an example.
In a statement, the United Nations (UN) condemned the acts terming it sexual violation of under-aged girls while ideally calling on the authorities to expedite the probe.
“The United Nations in Zimbabwe notes with deep concern and condemns strongly the surrounding circumstances leading to the untimely death of 14-year-old Memory Machaya from Marange, who died while giving birth at an apostolic sect shrine. Sadly, disturbing reports of the sexual violation of under-aged girls, including early forced child marriages continue to surface and indeed this is another sad case. A situation where one out of three girls in Zimbabwe will be married before the age of 18 years is also not acceptable,” the statement reads in part.
It further adds, “The current trend of unresolved cases of violence against women and girls in Zimbabwe, including marriages of minors cannot continue with impunity. All forms of violence and early forced marriages severely affect the mental and physical health of girls and is a violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which Zimbabwe is a signatory. The United Nations welcomes the investigations announced by the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe Gender Commission into the death of Memory Machaya and look forward to the perpetrators being brought to justice.”
Rights groups have raised the matter on social media platforms currently trending under the hashtags #EndChildMarriagesNow and #justiceforMemory.