BY KENNETH NYANGANI
A JOHANNE Marange apostolic church member Hatirarami Momberume (26), whose 14-year-old wife died while giving birth at a church shrine in July, was yesterday further remanded in custody by a Mutare magistrate.
Momberume first appeared before regional magistrate Lucy Mungwari on August 20 and was denied bail.
Yesterday, he appeared before Mutare magistrate Langton Mkwengi who remanded him to September 17 for bail hearing.
He is facing rape and murder charges.
The 14-year-old, Anna Machaya, died on July 15 while giving birth at the church shrine in Bocha, Marange in Manicaland province.
The girl was allegedly denied medical assistance by leaders of the apostolic sect because the sect does not believe in modern medication.
She succumbed to delivery complications.
Prosecutor Tirivanhu Mutyasira said Momberume “had a legal duty as the alleged husband to ensure that such a young child was taken to special health facilities to deliver, realising that there was a real risk or possibility that his conduct by omission might cause the death of Anna Machaya during or after the delivery of the baby.”
The regional court heard that Momberume of Taguta Farm in Kwekwe, “instead took Anna Machaya to Johanne Marange traditional midwives, where she delivered and died after some labour complications.”
The court further alleges that Momberume raped the vulnerable teen under the guise of marriage.
Following Anna’s death at the shrine, Momberume is reported to have left the shrine and eluded law enforcement agents.
He was finally arrested by detectives from the Criminal Investigations Department’s Homicide Division in Mutare.
This was after the police made the case a high priority following an outrage over the death of the minor.