The Zimbabwean continues to report on gender inequality and child abuse by some in the Johanne Marange Apostolic Sect, while encouraging the authorities to take step and alleviate the plight of the abused females in Zimbabwe.

In the meantime, Taurai Gova, a 54-year-old member of the flourishing sect, said the holy spirit gave them the girls. “If the spirit comes to me and says that I should marry somebody, who am I to refuse to follow God’s will? We are led by the holy spirit and it directs our ways.” 

Lazarus Mhandu, another sect member, quoted the Bible in defence of the practice. “The Bible says people should marry and multiply. That is what we do and that is why we marry younger women who can have as many children as possible.” 

Maureen Sibanda, who carried out a research “Married too Soon”, said levels of education among “child mothers” were often low. “Their overall development is compromised, leaving them socially isolated with little education, skills or opportunities for employment and self-realization. This leaves child brides more vulnerable to poverty – a consequence of child marriage as well as a cause.”