Anna Machaya Latest: Zimbabwean authorities on Friday charged Hatirarami Momberume with murder after his 14-year-old wife, Anna Machaya, died at a Marange religious shrine last month of complications due to childbirth.

Prosecutors said Hatirarami Momberume, 26, “had a legal duty as the alleged husband to ensure that such a young child was taken to special health facilities to deliver, realising that there was a real risk or possibility that his conduct by omission might cause the death of Anna Machaya during or after the delivery of the baby.”

The court was told that Momberume, of Taguta Farm in Kwekwe, “instead took Anna Machaya to Johanne Marange traditional midwives where she delivered and died after some labour complications.”

Anna, who got pregnant at the age of 14, died on July 15 while delivering her baby at a church shrine in Marange.

The two “midwives” who delivered the baby boy were named in court as Babra Hodzi and Enia Mukono.

Hatirarami Momberume anna machaya

Hatirarami Momberume, Anna Machaya husband

Momberume faces a second charge of “having sexual intercourse or performing indecent acts with a young person” which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Magistrate Lucy Mungwaru remanded Momberume in custody to September 3.

According to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, one in three girls are underage when they marry. In comparison, only two percent of boys get married before they are 18.The practice is more common in rural areas, and in some regions the rate is as high as one in two.