Friday, 21 January 2022

ANNA'S HUSBAND STILL ON THE RUN

A JOHANNE Marange Apostolic Church devotee, Evans Hatirarame Momberume (26), who is facing charges of murder and having a sexual relationship with a minor has been on the run ever since he absconded court late last year.

Momberume is accused of causing the death of 14-year-old Anna Machaya.

Machaya died while giving birth at the apostolic church’s Mafararikwa Shrine.

Momberume was scheduled to appear in court on December 7, 2001 but did not show up despite the presence of his lawyer, Mr Brian Majamanda of Khupe and Chijara Law Chambers in court on that day.

Earlier on, Mr Majamanda had successfully applied for his client’s bail at the High Court where Momberume was granted $50 000 bail by Mutare High Court Judge, Justice Isaac Muzenda.

On Wednesday, Mr Majamanda said he is unaware of his client’s whereabouts. National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they are making frantic efforts to bring Momberume to book.

Repeated efforts to get a comment from Johanne Marange Apostolic Church spokesperson, Mr Nyasha Marange, were fruitless as he was not picking up calls.

Momberume is accused of causing the death of Machaya by impregnating her and failing to take her to a proper health institution to receive healthcare services.

It is alleged that instead of taking Machaya to a medical facility when she got into labour, Momberume took her to Johanne Marange Church midwives.

She delivered a baby boy but died due to labour complications.

Momberume allegedly secretly buried his victim without notifying authorities of her death.

On the other count, Momberume is said to have impregnated the juvenile and stayed with her as his wife.

Following Machaya’s death, the Zimbabwe Gender Commission heavily descended on the church as part of its investigations into matters surrounding harmful religious practices which perpetuate sexual exploitation and abuse of women.

In a recent interview, the Commission’s chief executive officer, Ms Virginia Muwanigwa said: “In terms of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission Act, we are mandated to investigate systematic barriers prejudicial to gender equality, gender equity or gender main-streaming.

“A systemic barrier means any barrier, practice, custom, law or other impediments prejudicial to the achievement of gender equality, gender equity or gender main-streaming.

“Institutionalisation of sexual exploitation and abuse of women and child marriages constitute a major barrier to the realisation of full gender equality. The harmful effects of child marriages inhibit their full potential and expose them to GBV and STIs as well as HIV.

“The Commission has over the past years been seized with the matters surrounding harmful religious practices which perpetuate sexual exploitation and abuses of women. The investigation is, therefore, not limited to Marange as a church, nor the parties involved in the Machaya case only.” Manica Post

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