Emmah Chinyamutangira Post Correspondent
A MARANGE man who wilfully ignored loud calls to desist from forcing minor girls into early marriages was on Wednesday incarcerated for 12 months on his own plea of marrying-off his 14-year-old daughter.
The culprit (46), who could not be named to avoid selling out the victim, hails from Munyoro Village, under Chief Marange and is a member of the Johanne Marange Apostolic Church.
He was convicted and sentenced to 12 months alongside his sister-in-law (28), who sweet-talked the girl into the marriage after she had rejected the proposal.
The two were convicted after pleading guilty to charges of violating Section 94 (1) (b) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9:23 which classify “pledging of girl child” as a punishable criminal offence.
They married-off the teenager to a Vumba man.
The two convicts will, however, serve an effective eight months each after the presiding magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwa suspended four months on condition of good behaviour.
The State led by Mr Matthew Chimutunga said sometime in August this year, the two identified a potential husband for the teenage girl and called him to their Marange homestead for family rituals.
They had a meeting where they introduced the victim to her would-be-husband.
The girl turned down the offer.
This prompted the girl’s now incarcerated aunt to convince her into marrying the man. The girl later gave in and married the man, who immediately took her to Vumba.
This was done without the consent of the girl’s mother. The offence came to light after the girl’s mother bumped into the minor and her husband in Mutare.
Mr Chimutanga said upon seeing her daughter, the mother questioned what she was doing in Mutare. She further demanded to know her relationship with the man she was with.
It was at that juncture that the girl revealed that her “father and aunt had married her off to the man”.