The husband of the late Anna Machaya, widely reported in the media as Memory Machaya, is being charged with rape on the 15-year-old minor who has made international news after she died 15 July this year while giving birth at an apostolic church shrine in Manicaland.
In a statement Thursday, police confirmed the arrest of 26-year-old Hatirarami Momberume, the man behind the illicit marriage.
Police also said they were charging parents of the minor for attempts to compensate Momberume with a nine-year-old, another of their daughters following the death of her sister.
“Hatirarami Momberume is facing charges of rape or alternatively contravening section 70 of the Code. The late Anna Machaya’s parents will face charges of pledging a minor after trying to hand over another minor aged nine years to the suspect.
“Investigations are in progress with a view of unravelling all the facts in this case,” said police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi.
It emerged during police investigations that the parents of the late child bride falsely identified Anna as Memory Machaya to try and conceal her young age.
Added the police spokesperson, “The police is also pressing criminal charges against Anna Machaya’s father, Edmore Machaya (45) and mother Shy Mabika (36) for obstructing or defeating the course of justice.
“The parents openly lied to the police that Anna Machaya was born 2nd January 1999.
“The mother went on to give police investigators a national identity car in a bid to prove that she was born on 2nd January 1999. This was false.
“Investigations have revealed that the identity card produced to the police belonged to a namesake of the late minor who is a daughter to Ernest Machaya.
“This is an uncle to the late Anna Machaya.”
Police used school records of the late minor to establish her correct age.