The government has been blamed for “condoning” child marriages, a practice widespread in the Johane Marange apostolic sect. This follows the death of Memory Machaya, a 14-year-old girl who died at a Marange church shrine while giving birth to her first baby.
Several voices have been calling the government to act and authorities have so far conducted investigations only.
Theologian Lewis Emmanuel Chasara accuses the government of “continuously letting us down by letting the Johane Marange sect continue its practice of child marriages.” He said:
The current government has been in a long relationship with the Johane Marange sect but has failed to confront them about the issue of child marriages this meaning that our own government continued to look the other way on this issue of child marriages being practised by the Johane Marange Sect. Memory Machaya was a minor and the Johane Marange sect influenced her death due to their common practice of child marriages.
The Johane Marange sect is known for its ignorance when it comes to professional medical health care. The Johane Marange sect discourages modern health care. This is seen when Memory Machaya was denied health care and medicine. Memory Machaya was denied visits to the clinic even if they knew she was pregnant but the Johane Marange sect denies any visits to a doctor or clinic/hospital. Hence this resulting in Memory Machaya’s death. Salt and water are considered the only medicine in this white garment sect. As for the death of Memory Machaya, it is a clear murder since she was poisoned by paraffin which was poured into her nose this catalysing her death. If Memory Machaya was sent to the hospital in time of her sickness she would probably be alive today.
He added that the Zimbabwe Republic Police is not enforcing the law of child marriages and the Johane Marange sect, therefore, takes advantage of this inaction or negligence by law enforcers.
Chasara called upon members of the public to fight against child marriages “for a better tomorrow.”