Does Mutare West Member of Parliament Teedzayi Muchimwe have 34 wives?
This was a question that was never answered as Muchimwe did not get a chance to respond after opposition legislator Tendai Biti claimed that he had 34 wives.
Biti’s colleague Chalton Hwende added that 16 of those wives were under age.
The two legislators made the allegations after Kadoma Central legislator Muchineripi Chinyanganya said President Emmerson Mnangagwa should go and address members of the apostolic church because old men were continuing to marry under-age girls.
He said he had read a story which said that a 64-year-old man had married a 10-year-old girl.
When Muchimwe rose on a point of order, Biti interjected: “Ndiye umwe wacho iyeye, 34 wives”.
Hwende added: “And then 16 of them are under age”.
Muchimwe, who is a member of the apostolic church, never got a chance to respond
HON. CHINYANGANYA: My point of national interest arises from the continued acts of child marriages that are being perpetuated by men, especially amongst the apostolic sects. Recently, there is a story of a 64 years old man who married a ten-year girl and the man belongs to the apostolic sect. So, I implore the President of the country that when he goes to address those apostolic sects, he should speak out against child marriages which is rampant amongst those sects. I think if he does so, those members would really take heed of his words because as it stands we will not have the girl child developing and attaining their goals because they are being married at a tender age. This issue of child marriages Mr. Speaker, should come to an end and the girl child should be respected. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Chinyanganya, yes, your proposal maybe laudable that the State President addresses this issue – [(v)HON. MUCHIMWE: Point of order Mr. Speaker Sir!] – I am still speaking. Hon. Muchimwe, you should be in the House here – [HON. BITI: Ndiye mumwe wacho iyeye, 34 wives] – [HON. HWENDE: And then 16 of them are under age.] – Zvenyu zvamuri kutaura handizvizivi. Hon. Chinyanganya, while it is good that you request that the State President addresses the apostolic sect about early child marriages, I thought you were going to include yourselves as Hon. Members as well to do the same, but more importantly, what seems to work is a law. You must look at the law in this House on early child marriages and perhaps come up with stiffer penalties. As you are going to address also yourselves on the Bill on Child Rights, perhaps that can be included as well to ensure that penalties are put in place for those who offend in that regard. As we debate and review our law, please take that into account and rally your views with your colleagues so that you have got a common approach to the issue.
HON. HWENDE: Whilst I appreciate the point by Hon. Chinyanganya, Parliament as the custodian of the Constitution, I think it is proper to use the right framing. When someone has sex with a 10-year-old, it is not marriage but rape and we have sufficient laws. What is needed is for police to stop looking at mapostori as possible voters and arrest people who are sleeping with 10-year-olds.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What has that crime to do with voting?
HON. HWENDE: I withdraw Mr. Speaker that bit.
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, the law is not sufficient, I can tell you that. The law is insufficient and needs to be tightened up so that we have a serious penalty. The other side of the coin which you raised Hon. Member is basically on rape. The other day I was watching television, a man raping a three-month-old child. Can you imagine 3, 6 and so on. This House must come up with draconian laws against rape just like what it did with stock theft. Mandatory sentence, no option of a fine.