The Zhombe community has intervened to stop the marriage of a 13-year-old girl to a 21-year-old man after her family married her off recently due to hunger.
The girl who cannot be named had to be rescued from the “in-laws” after having stayed there for some days following the intervention of the community.
According to the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the legal age of consent for sexual activity is 16, while the minimum age for marriage is 18.
A former junior councillor got wind of the matter and raised alarm leading to the intervention of the community.
The villagers led by the traditional leaders enlisted the services of the police to rescue the girl.
Midlands provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko confirmed the development, saying investigations are ongoing. He said:
I can confirm that we are handling a case in Zhombe involving an underage girl who had been married off by her family.
We have since intervened and as I speak to you, she is now back at her parents’ home.
For now, I cannot give you finer details because we are still carrying out investigations.
The incident occurred under Chief Gwesela in Zhombe who confirmed handling the case at his traditional court. The traditional leader said:
There are actually two different cases that are almost similar. The first one is that one which you are talking about of a family that tried to marry off their daughter due to hunger.
They have since appeared before my court and I have fined both the family that tried to marry off their daughter and the family that accepted the child as their daughter-in-law.
Chief Gwesela said in the second case, the girl was lured into marriage by a gold panner.
He said he fined both families again and ordered the girl to be taken back to her family.
Chief Gwesela said he will not allow the abuse of young girls in his area.
This comes hard on the heels of the story of 14-year-old Memory Machaya who died while giving birth at an Apostolic shrine in Manicaland Province.- Chronicle