By Beatrice Marowa
It is very unfortunate to have encountered a tragedy story of the death of a 14-year old girl who died on the July 15 at the shrine of the Johanne Marange Apostolic Church while giving birth.
According to sources, she was married to one of the members of the Johanne Marange Apostolic Church when she was 13.
It is alleged this was not the first time such a tragedy has occurred as there were a number of cases such as these that have been swept under the carpet in the name of respecting religion.
As such, the Ministry of Health is questioned on whether they have made follow ups on what causes these teenagers to die whilst giving birth and also if they have kept records of such deaths?
No arrests have since been made concerning this issue at hand.
This goes shows how some religions oppress women and girls, making them vulnerable to abuse especially through child marriages.
What happens to the child who was supposed to be a teenager, getting obsessed about social media, the latest trends of movies and music because she is simply a child?
How do you expect a child to bring another child into the world?
How do you expect them to take care of each other when they are both babies?
This is devastating as it shows some people have defy social norms and the spirit of Ubuntu.
Mhondoro Mandaza an Ubuntu philosopher lamented problems how the abuse of women’s and children’s rights were seen by some men as problems to be solved by women, when in fact the entire community, whether village or nation, needed to take responsibility.
“Because in a family, your problem is my problem,” he said.
“With this being said, the case of Memory is not only for women but also for the society as a whole to find solutions on how to deal with such matters.
“In addition Ubuntu implies that girls who marry young are often denied a range of human rights: many must discontinue their education, face serious health risks from early and multiple pregnancies, and suffer sexual and domestic violence, equality and non-discrimination, consensual marriage, employment, and to live free from violence.
“Also, it violates the rights of women and girls that are enshrined in regional treaties.”
According to the Government child marriage are not legal.
Parliament enacted progressive legislation on domestic violence which states child marriage as a form of domestic violence.
Even in religion we see that it is a punishable offense to abuse children before God.
This is derived from Matthew 18 verses 3 to 5 which reads, “If anyone causes one of these little ones, those who believe in me, to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung round their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
In a nutshell Memory Machaya’s death does not only speak for her but it becomes a voice to women and children who are or who have experienced any form of abuse.
Just a few months back the life of Tapiwa was taken away due to ritual sacrifices.
This should be a wakeup call of the vulnerability of women and girls.
Hence, the ZRP should investigate this case and arrest the accused.