Tunatazama - Community Monitors


Billian Tino Matambo, Chiadzwa

It boggles the mind to notice how some barbaric acts still take presidency in Marange despite the outcry of women and children to stop child rapes hidden behind false pretence of religious marriages. While our hearts are still burden by the sad demise of Memory Machaya a minor who passed on during her labour period at the hands of Johane Marange merciless prophets in Mafararikwa Marange last year, we witnessed again another death of the same calibre. Febby a 14-year-old girl also passed away on the 12th of January 2022 again at the hands of the church’s so-called healers in Mafararikwa. According to close sources they said the 14-year-old was carrying twins and she passed on during labour period.

The culprit is one Athur Muchena of Chiadzwa who is a member of Johane Marange sect and Febby was his second wife. The first wife being her own elder sister. Athur got arrested sometime last week on the 13th of January 2022 by Bambazonke police following a tip off.

The Johane Marange sect despise hospitals that is the reason why Febby was not taken for any medical attention for the rest of her maternity period. It is the culture of the older members of the church to rape young girls and hide behind the finger of a religious marriage.

According to Bambazonke police, Muchena is in police custody and will appear in court on Monday 17 /01/2022. “Arthur Muchena, who is 29 is in our custody and is charged with contraverning with section 70 of the criminal code” said Constable Felix Munetsi of Bambazonke police station, “and he is going to appear in court tomorrow “.

On another note Douglas Mutowa a 49 year old man who resides in Chiadzwa have impregnated Lee (name withheld) of Chiadzwa again who is a 15 year old.It is alleged that Mutowa started having the affair with the minor 2 years ago when Lee was only 13. Unfortunately, the Lee’s parents did not know until recently when they discover that their daughter is pregnant.

Muchaonei Chipindirwe , the minor ‘s father said Lee was born in May 2006 , she is only 15 and he expressed his anger and hopelessness as he narrates his plight “Mutowa said he is ready to marry my daughter who is a minor and the sad part is my daughter has been brainwashed to an extend of telling me that Mutowa is her husband and she is ready for marriage. I feel so helpless.

Mutowa is still not arrested up to today 16 /01/2022 and efforts to get a response from Bambazonke police station on why Mutowa was still out proved fruitless. Chipindirwe said he is not satisfied about the way police are handling his case.

Inasmuch as the community, women and civic society Organizations are trying to fight child rapes hidden in the name of religious marriages. The arm of the law is not tight enough and it is somehow loosened when dealing with such perpetrators citing the case of Memory Machaya a minor who passed on last year hence the culprit Hatinzwani Momberume is now roaming our streets freely so early.

More needs to be done to protect the girl child as per her constitutional rights and end Sexual abuse of young girls. Our communities need to be taught to cease the practice of sanitising rape cases by pushing young girls into early marriages. This practice has seen more girls dying during childbirth and an increase in domestic violence as these young girls are exposed to difficulties that they’re not yet ready for. The law must as well be strict on such cases making sure that perpetrators are brought to book without failure in a timely manner.