Gender Commission to investigate Apostolic Sects
Harare (New Ziana) –The Zimbabwe Gender Commission says it intends to investigate Apostolic Sects in the country for alleged institutionalisation of sexual exploitation and abuses of girls and child marriages.
In a public notice last Friday, the commission invited victims or witnesses to any act of sexual exploitation and abuse and child marriages by members of any Apostolic Church to submit written complaints, witness statements and any other supporting documents or evidence which could assist in the investigation.
“Oral hearings will commence thereafter on dates to be advised by the Commission,” said commission chairperson Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe.
She said persons wishing to make any submissions regarding the investigation should visit the commission offices and/or submit them, in writing or via WhatsApp, not later than October 25 this year.
The death of 14 year old Memory Machaya while giving birth at a church shrine in Marange, Manicaland province in August this year, sparked an outrage among citizens and activists with the United Nations joining in condemning child marriages in the country.
Some Apostolic Sects in Zimbabwe are notorious for taking as wives as well as marrying off under age girls, with citizens calling on the government to intervene and stop the practice.