Gweru – A 44-year-old Zimbabwean woman has been sentenced to five months in jail after forcing her teenage daughter into marriage with a 40-year-old man, a report says.
According to the state-owned Chroniclenewspaper, the unidentified mother claimed that she married her 15-year-old daughter off in order to “secure her future when she was no longer alive”.
She said that she had contracted a grave illness which could lead to her sudden death. She, therefore, didn’t want to leave her daughter with no one to look after her.
The court heard that on January 12, the woman forced her daughter into marriage with Jelias Nyika, but the young girl refused.
On the same night, however, the woman forcibly took her daughter to Nyika’s homestead where she stood guard on the door while Nyika had sex with the young girl.
Sex with a minor
The case came to light after the teenage girl’s grandmother reported the matter to the police, leading to the woman’s arrest.
Nyika was also arrested and sentenced to 24 months in jail after pleading guilty to a more serious charge of having sex with a minor.
This came barely a year after the southern African country banned child marriages.
The decision came after legal watchdog Veritas challenged the country’s laws that did not set a minimum age for marriage.
The group wanted the courts to align the child marriages act with the country’s new constitution, which was adopted at a referendum in 2013.