Daniel Nemukuyu and Freedom Mupanedemo
Hatirarami Momberume, accused of impregnating the 15-year-old girl who recently died while giving birth at an apostolic sect’s shrine in Marange, has appeared in court charged with murder while the girl’s parents were also arrested in Kwekwe for defeating the course of justice.
Momberume (26), who works at a farm in Kwekwe, is also being charged with being intimate or performing indecent acts with a young person.
Yesterday, police detectives picked the deceased’s father, Edmore Machaya (45) and his wife Ratchel Mabika (36) at Garibold Farm in Kwekwe amid indications they had lied about the girl’s date of birth.
They were taken to court where they were denied bail.
Mabika stands accused of misleading the police by submitting her name as Shy Mabika when her real name is Ratchel.
Momberume was not asked to plead to murder and having sexual intercourse with a minor when he appeared before Mutare regional magistrate Mrs Lucy-Anne Mungwari.
Mrs Mungwari remanded him in custody to September 3.
Messrs Tirivanhu Mutyasira and Jonathan Chingwinyiso appeared for the State, while Mr Brian Majamanda of Khupe and Chijara Law Chambers represented Momberume.
Mr Majamanda told the court that he would apply for bail in due course.
However, bail applications in respect of murder cases are dealt with by the High Court, which has jurisdiction over such third schedule offences.
It is the State’s case that Momberume caused the death of the girl by impregnating her and failing to take her to a proper health institution to receive healthcare services.
“Instead, the accused person took Annah Machaya to Johanne Marange traditional midwives where she delivered and died after some labour complications.
“He thereafter secretly buried her without notifying the authorities of her death,” reads part of the court papers.
To cover up for the offence, it is alleged that there was misrepresentation that the deceased was Memory Machaya aged 22.
On the other count, Momberume is said to have impregnated Annah (15) and stayed with her as his wife.
She then fell pregnant and died on July 15 while giving birth to a baby boy at a shrine in Marange, Manicaland.
Annah’s parents were picked up in Kwekwe and taken to court for defeating the course of justice by furnishing investigators with false information.
The couple Edmore Machaya and Ratchel Mbika were remanded in custody to 9 September after their bail request was shot down.
Kwekwe prosecutor Ms Michelle Daraja told the court that the two gave false information to the police following the death of their child Anna Machaya on 15 July 2021.
Police from Homicide section in Harare were tasked to investigate circumstances surrounding the death of the girl, the court heard
It is the State’s case that on 9 August 2021 the two, who are biological parents to the deceased, were approached by detectives investigating the death.
The couple allegedly misrepresented to the police that the girl who had died was Memory Machaya born on January 2, 1999.
They allegedly furnished the police with a national registration certificate of the said Memory Machaya which they knew belonged to another person who is alive.
Police investigations later established that the deceased was in fact, Annah Machaya born in July 2006.