Underfire Johanne Marange Apostolic Sect Apologizes Over Anna Machaya’s Death At The Shrine
Following massive pressure from local and international human rights activists and organizations, Johanne Marange Apostolic Church in Marange has apologized over the death of 14-year-old Anna Machaya.
The Johanne Marange Church came underfire after it emerged that Anna Machaya died while giving birth at the church’s shrine in Bocha.
Zimbabweans and international human rights organizations including the United Nations chastised the church for violating children’s rights and practising child marriages.
Addressing the incident, Johanne Marange Apostolic church spokesperson, Nyasha Marange told Zim Morning Post that as a church they were sorry about Anna’s death and went on to describe it as ‘unfortunate’ incident.
“First of all, we are sorry of the incident and it was so unfortunate. But, we want to make it clear that our church abides and respect the laws of our government,” said the spokesperson.
After apologizing, the church spokesperson went on to emphasize that Johanne Marange is a law abiding religious sect that condemns child marriages. He revealed that as a church in every sermon they make it a point to advocate against child marriages.
“Our leader High Priest Noah Taguta and the followers of the church, we all respect the laws that govern Zimbabwe. We have high respect to our government and as a church we also have our laws that clearly state that girls under the age of 18 are not married.
“We make it a point that in every preaching sermon, our priests always preach the word against child marriages. It is one of our church doctrines that is against the practice of child marriages,” he said.
Marange went on claim that Anna Machaya’s tragic death was an individual case that was separate from the church as he argued that they were rogue elements within the church that were practicing child marriages
He however, vowed that as a church they were going to deal with such cases accordingly.
Meanwhile, Anna’s alleged husband, Evans Hatirarami Momberume has since been arrested. He was charged with rape and murder when he appeared at Mutare Magistrate Court.
He was also denied bail and remanded in custody to September 3 by Magistrate Lucy Mungwari.
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