By Felix Matasva
MUTARE: Alleged Marange child molester Hatirarami Momberume (26) who is facing charges of murder and having sexual intercourse with a minor appeared at the Mutare Magistrate Court Friday.
Momberume, who is being represented by Brian Majamanda of Khuphe and Chijara Law Associates appeared in prison garbs before Magistrate Prisca Manhibi and was not asked to plead.
The suspected pedophile was remanded in custody to September 17.
On August 20, he appeared before regional Magistrate Lucy-Anne Mungwari who remanded him in custody to September 3.
The state, represented by Tirivanhu Mutyasira and Jonathan Chingwinyiso, alleged that Momberume had sexual intercourse with a minor.
The state further alleged on an unknown date in 2020, the accused fell in love with the now-deceased Anna Machaya, knowing she was born on 5 July 2006 and was daughter to Edmore Machaya and Shy Mabika.
“On a date unknown but in April 2021, Anna Machaya eloped to the accused and they started staying together purportedly as husband and wife. During the period extending 2020 to 15 July 2021 the accused had sexual intercourse with Anna Machaya leading to Anna falling pregnant and gave birth to a baby on 15 July 2021 at Johanne Marange Apostolic Church shrine,” the court heard.
On the murder count, the state says the accused unlawfully caused the death of Anna Machaya by impregnating her and failing to take her to receive healthcare services during her labour.
The state argued the accused had a legal obligation as the alleged husband to ensure that such a young child required special health facilities to deliver as there was a real risk or possibility that his conduct by omission might cause her death during or after the delivery of the baby.
It is alleged the accused pedophile took Anna to Johanne Marange traditional midwives when she developed labour pains and she died after some labour complications. The accused colluded by keeping discreet news of her death as he proceeded to bury her without notifying the authorities.
In order to conceal the offence, the accused colluded with his relatives by purporting the person who had died was Memory Machaya born on 02 January 1999. The accused’s in-laws made an audacious move to tender an identity card bearing the name of Memory Machaya as that of the deceased.
However, investigations later revealed the person who was married to the accused was Anna and not Memory as purported.
The said Memory is alive and staying in Mhondoro and is married to Lameck Makonye.
The death of Memory caused public outcry with many opinion leaders calling for justice to be dispensed.