UN condemns death of 15-year-old while giving birth in Zimbabwe
The United Nations (UN) has condemned the untimely death of Nokutenda Hwaramba, a 15-year-old minor, who died while giving birth in Zimbabwe.
Hwaramba died last week giving birth at a shrine of a white garment church sect in Bikita, her family said.
Her tragic death ignited sad memories of a 14-year-old Anna Machaya who died in July last year while giving birth in Marange.
In a statement on Monday, the UN condemned Hwaramba’s demise adding that early forced marriages contravened the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Zimbabwe is a signatory
“The United Nations in Zimbabwe strongly condemns the untimely death of Nokutenda Hwaramba, a 15-year-old minor, who reportedly died while giving birth at an apostolic sect shrine,” read the statement.
“All forms of violence and early forced marriages contravene the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Zimbabwe is a signatory.
“The United Nations in Zimbabwe urges the authorities to conduct investigations into this matter and to bring the alleged perpetrators to justice.
“Under the Zimbabwe Spotlight Initiative Country programme, a High-Level Political Compact (HLPC) to end violence against women and girls and harmful practices including child marriages was signed by the Government.
“Subsequently, the country enacted a Child Marriage Act which prohibits marriage of children under 18 years and the Constitutional Court ruled this year that the legal age of sexual consent be raised from 16 to 18 years in May 2022.”
The UN further called for the enforcement of national laws and policies to ensure full protection of young girls from all forms of sexual violence and harmful practices.