Jail after 1 night marriage: Mum stands guard as 40-yr-old beds daughter (15)

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Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
A WOMAN (44) has been jailed for five months for forcing her daughter (15) into marriage on grounds that she wanted someone to look after the minor.

A Shurugwi magistrate also sent the man (40) who had married the Form Two girl to jail for 24 months in probably the first convictions for marrying off or marrying a minor since the Constitutional Court banned child marriage in January last year.

The Shurugwi court heard that the man had sex with the girl for the first time while her mother, whose identity has been withdrawn to protect the identity of the minor, stood guard at the door of his bedroom hut.

The illegal marriage lasted for one night as the girl’s grandmother reported the matter to the police.

First to appear before Shurugwi resident magistrate Mrs Evia Matura facing one count of pledging her underage daughter into marriage was the mother.

She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five months in prison.

The woman told the court in mitigation that she gave her daughter into marriage for free because she thought she was dying since she is anaemic. She said she wanted someone to look after her daughter before her death.

“I’m of ill health. I’ve continuous headaches and so I thought I would die and my child would have no one to look after her. When he married her, she was in school and had promised to further her education,” she said.

Prosecutor, Ms Nyengeterai Nechirava said on January 12 the woman forced her daughter to enter into marriage with Jelias Nyika but she refused.

“That same night at around 10PM, she packed the complainant’s clothes and took her to Nyika’s homestead before he had sexual intercourse with her that very night while she stood guard at the bedroom hut door,” she said.

The court heard that on January 13, the complainant’s grandmother reported the accused person to the police, leading to her arrest.

Second to appear in court was Nyika who was sentenced by Mrs Matura to 24 months in prison for having sex with a minor.

Nyika had pleaded guilty to the charge.

He will however serve an effective 18 months in prison after six months of his sentence were suspended on condition of good behaviour.

The prosecutor said on January 12 at around midnight, the woman handed her daughter to Nyika.

“After Nyika was given the complainant by her mother as his wife, he took her to his bedroom and had sexual intercourse with her while her mother was standing outside after which she proceeded to her homestead.

“Nyika was arrested after a report was made to the police by the complainant’s grandmother,” she said.

In a landmark ruling last year, the top court struck off the statutes Section 22(1) of the Marriages Act, which permitted children under the age of 18 years to formally get married.

It ruled that Section 22(1) of the Act was inconsistent with Section 78(1) of the Constitution, which sets 18 years as the minimum age of marriage in the country.

The ruling was made following an application filed by two Harare women challenging the Customary Marriages Act.

@pchitumba1

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  • bh

    Kunzima

  • petunia

    how can a mother do this to her child as though marriage is a bed of roses

  • shacks

    kunzima for sure

  • MSAKANDA

    mother standing guard or whatever, its monotonous repeating same thing over and over. We thank the grandmother for being brave we need more grandmothers who are like her

  • AbaseLowerGweru

    The identity is being with held to protect the minor,,,,,,,, then 2 lines down Mrs Evia Matura. Am I the 1 with a misunderstanding issue or the editor is taking us for a ride????

    • Kevin

      Sadly you are the one with the misunderstanding issue ,Mrs Evia Matura is the name of the Magistrate presiding the case not the mother.

    • PEACE

      Mrs Evia Matura is a resident magistrate in shurugwi.

    • peacemaker

      I also noticed it. These are Border Gezi Journalists kkkkk. Chronicle, please spare us the agony.

      • Kevin

        hmmm , guess who will have the last laugh !!!!!, read responses of people who read(as in red) correctly.

    • News

      Please i would advise u to read again and understand!

    • Afrikan

      Your confusion is understandable AbaseLowerGweru, that sentence doesn’t really read well at all. Evia Mantura…oops Matura was the presiding magistrate.

  • vusumuzi

    Dont blame lack of education wena, dont you see the Mess Zim is in because of the “educated” . You should be talking of UBUNTU/WUNHU not education.

    • Ras Makate (Mutunhu une Mago)

      Thank you

  • kupo

    thank you grandmother for standing for what’s right.

  • Chiyamuro Chemadzimai

    these parents from Matebeleland are sometimes crazy

    • scombination

      same as the mashonaland uncles who rape their nieces………..

    • Zandie

      Is Shurugwi in Matebeleland? Are the surnames from Matebeleland?

    • sigadula

      Wena Mgodoyi, ubobala ungakabhali ingcekeza yakho. Bloody tribalist!

    • Sipho

      Chiyamuro nd godera u are fools liyimikhenkethe yeziphukuphuku

    • Mother Nature

      Shurugwi is in Midlands

  • OVERSEER

    it is God who takes care of human life, we must strive for what is good and not create good out of our evil motives. for you can never motivate a person beyond their motive!!!! if the grand mother is still there why give her away for “free”. let me leave it to the judgement of the courts