Zim police arrest several suspects after teen dies during childbirth

The tragedy has reignited debate over the prevalence of child marriage in the country, where one in three girls is reported to be married before the age of 18.

FILE: Fourteen-year-old Memory Machaya died after giving birth to a healthy baby boy. Picture: Pixabay.com

HARARE - More than a month after the death of a 14-year-old girl during childbirth in eastern Zimbabwe, police have finally arrested several suspects.

The tragedy has reignited debate over the prevalence of child marriage in the country, where one in three girls is reported to be married before the age of 18.

Fourteen-year-old Memory Machaya died after giving birth to a healthy baby boy.

News of her death at a shrine in eastern Zimbabwe triggered outrage on social media, and there’ve been calls for the authorities to investigate child marriage in the secretive religious sect to which she belonged.

An online petition calling for the perpetrators of her alleged sexual abuse to be brought to book has so far received more than 92,000 signatures.

On Wednesday, Women’s Affairs Minister Sithembiso Nyoni told Parliament that a number of people had now been arrested in connection with the case.

She said these included family members who had offered another child to be married in the wake of Memory’s death.

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