BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Apostolic sect member Johanne Masowe, Hatirarame Momberume, who was taken to court on murder and rape charges after marrying an underage minor, Anna Machaya, who died in childbirth, is reportedly missing.
His lawyer, Brian Majamanda de Khupe and Chijara Law Chambers said NewsDay that he did not know the whereabouts of his client, who received an arrest warrant last week after skipping his first trial session.
Machaya died on July 15 of this year while working at a religious shrine in Marange, Manicaland province.
Momberume was recently granted $ 50,000 bail by High Court Judge Judge Isaac Muzenda before a trial date was set.
However, Momberume did not appear in court last week, which resulted in the issuance of an arrest warrant against him by the acting provincial magistrate of Mutare, Richard Ramaboea.
Majamanda, his lawyer, appeared alone in court.
“Currently, we don’t know where he is (Momberume). He is the subject of an arrest warrant. I will give you more comments tomorrow (today), I tried to call him, but his phone is not reachable, ”said the lawyer.
According to the state, Momberume illegally caused Machaya’s death by not taking her to a medical center to receive medical treatment during childbirth.
Mombeume, instead, took Machaya to the midwives of the Johanne Marange sect, where she gave birth, but died of complications.
He hid the news of Machaya’s death and buried her without notifying the authorities.
In order to cover up the offense, he allegedly claimed that the deceased was Memory Machaya, born January 2, 1999.
Investigations later revealed that the person married to the accused was indeed Anna, a minor, which led to his arrest.
- Follow Kenneth on Twitter @ KennethNyangan1