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Pressure Keeps Mounting On Government To End Child Marriages. 

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By Thandiwe Garusa 

PRESSURE continues mounting on Emmerson Mnangagwa’s  administration to  put an end to child marriages following  the death of a 14 year old Memory  Machaya who died weeks ago whilst giving birth at a church  shrine in Marange, Bocha.

In a statement The Zimbabwe  Network of Early Childhood Development Actors (ZINECDA)  added their voice to the ongoing public outcries to bring to book the perpetrators.

“As we welcome  reports indicating that the police have started investigating  circumstances  surrounding Memory’s  death, it is our humble submission that authorities act without prejudice to eradicate this scourge. As a coalition of civil society  organizations advocating for children’s  rights, we believe that the practice of child marriages is a violation of children’s  rights therefore we call upon Governments to ensure that the legal systems protect and prohibit this practice to safeguard children’s  rights and dignity,” reads  the statement.

“According to the recently released report by UNICEF on Covid-19, (A threat to progress against child marriages), it estimates that 650 million  girls alive today were married in childhood.  We therefore call upon  government  to expedite  the alignment  of such laws as the Marriages  Act and Customary Law to the new constitution as this will greatly assist in the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators  abusing children under the pretext of church doctrines.”

“Child marriages  also violate a number of important international instruments which  Zimbabwe  is also a signatory including the Universal Declaration  on Human  Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention  on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination  Against  Women,” the statement reads.

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