BY KENNETH NYANGANI
LEADER of Johanne Masowe eChishanu Apostolic Sect Andby Makururu has made a sensational statement, declaring that institutionalised rape is rampant in most Apostolic sects. The famous prophet made the startling declaration ashe affirmed his determination to destroy child marriages within religious groups.
Recently, Makururu led members of his church and other denominations in a march in Mutare that was meant to raise awareness against child marriages and drug abuse by the youths.
The man of God is expected to lead a similar march in Harare this month.
Makururu through his Ruvheneko Rwenyenyedzi Trust (RRT) promised to transform indigenous churches to suit global trends and values, chief among them safeguarding the girl child.
“We have institutionalised rape in the white garment churches,” Makururu told Standard Style.
“If we want to take into consideration the definition of rape and child marriages, rape is defined as having sexual intercourse without one ‘s consent.
If you marry a 15-year-old girl, l don’t think it would be by consent.
“We are also saying the Kingdom of heaven we are following has got a physical and spiritual disposition, there are some issues that can be addressed in physical terms.
“For example, if a person comes to our church with a broken leg we advise him to go to the hospital and seek medication.
He added: “We have noticed issues of gender-based violence at our church services, issues of rape and child marriages.
“We have realised that as a church it is difficult to deal with these issues but one has to seek justice in the courts and approaching law enforcement agents.”
Makururu said he was visiting all churches that practice child marriages to engage with the leaders.
“We don’t want our children to think about child marriages because they are of the white garment churches, hence l am at the forefront of fighting the ill practices of the past and focus on the future of our kids,” Makururu said.
He said RRT would assist children who fall prey to abuse, regardless of their religion.
“In mentoring and counselling, l hire experts,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mutasa North MP Chido Madiwa applauded Makururu’s initiative saying she will do her best to assist the man of the cloth.
“Child marriages in Apostolic sects are a major cause for concern and seeing one leader of these churches fighting child marriages is a great step for us women,” Madiwa said.
“I have been fighing child marriages in my constituency and we also recorded some cases of rape. So, l would want to work with the likes Makaruru.”
Zimbabwe is part of the global community fighting against violence towards women and girls running under the banner 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence. The campaign started on 25 November and ends on December 10.