Gender Commission corners vapostori child sex predators

Zimstar News

The Zimbabwe Gender Commission has finally taken the bold step to investigate rampant cases of child marriages and other forms of sexual exploitation often perpetuated under the guise of faith within the Apostolic sect.

In a Government Gazette Friday, Zimbabwe Gender Commission chairperson Margarete Mukahanana-Sangarwe invited both victims and other witnesses to approach her organisation with evidence to aid the probe.

“It is hereby notified that, in terms of section 5 of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission Act (Chapter 10:31) the Zimbabwe gender Commission intends to investigate complaints of the institutionalisation of sexual exploitation and abuses of girls and child marriages in the Apostolic Sect, Zimbabwe.

“Further to the above notice, an invitation is hereby given to any victims or witnesses to any act of sexual exploitation and abuse and child marriages by members of the Apostolic Church to present to the Commission, written complaints, witnesses statements and any other supporting documents or evidence which can assist in the investigation.”

The Gender Commission is also set to gather oral evidence from witnesses on a date to be announced.

Mukahanana-Sangarwe called on those wishing to present submissions to hand them to her organisation’s offices at Pax House within the Harare CBD or send them electronically via email complaints@zgc.co.zw or WhatsApp 0719554465 by not later than 25 October this year.

The country was awakened to the need to start decisively tackling child marriages within the apostolic church when 15-year-old child bride Annah Machaya died tragically due to labour complications at an apostolic church shrine in Manicaland July this year.

Her case became the rallying point of a stronger campaign against rampant child marriages in the country.