By Fungai Jachi Courts Reporter
THE murder charges levelled against 26 year-old Hatirarami Momberume who is accused of the murder of his 14-year-old child bride, Anna Machaya, who died at a Marange religious shrine due to complications while giving birth are likely to be dropped after the State struggled to prove the essential elements of a murder charge.
High Court Judge, Justice Isaac Muzenda put the state to task to prove the essential elements of murder with regards to the case after the accused, through his defense counsel, argued that the pregnancy was not the cause of death, but complications during delivery hence the midwives who failed to do their duty should be the ones charged with murder.
The Judge noted that the State therefore has a mandate to prove how the accused was involved in the death of Machaya or risk having to drop the murder charges and only charge Momberume with having sexual intercourse with a young person under section 70 of the constitution.
Meanwhile, Momberume was freed on 50 000 Zimbabwe dollars bail.
Anna, who got pregnant at the age of 14, died on July 15 2021 while delivering her baby at a church shrine in Marange, Manicaland.
According to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, one in three girls are underage when they marry in comparison with only two percent of boys getting married before they are 18.
The death of Anna Machaya sparked widespread outrage on social media, drawing condemnation from rights groups, communities and the United Nations.