Dear Mr President:
I hope this letter finds you well. I also hope that you will take time off your busy schedule considering its election period, to take a glance at my letter.
As the election draws nearer, let me wish you the best of luck and let the best man win under a free, credible and fair environment. However, my letter is not a political one since i am not much of a political writer and my bias towards health, gender and human rights issues unquestionable.
This particular letter has been inspired by the growing cases of child marriages especially among members of the Vapostori churches and sects. Without fanning hate or negativity towards the Apostolic sects, it is no secret that their beliefs and norms permit them to marry as many wives as they wish. I have no problem with polygamy, my greatest worry is the fact that girls as young as nine are being married off in broad daylight under the guise of the holy spirit and religion, exposing the young ones various health challenges including HIV, maternal deaths, domestic violence amongst a host of others.
Despite numerous efforts by members of the civil society to reorient the young girls into other life changing ventures, the statistics keep going up in areas such Uzumba, Maramba and Pfungwe, Manicaland (Marange), Masvingo and some parts of Mashonaland.
In a 2014 survey by Zimbabwe’s National Statistics Agency, one in three women ages 20 to 49 surveyed reported that they married before age 18; an estimated 4 percent marry before age 15, the survey found.
Let me hasten to say i was pleased to see you arrayed in Apostolic White robes (Magemenzi) recently when you addressed multitudes of Vapostori. I could not waste time further but had to strike the iron while it is still hot. It is by no doubt that you command a huge gathering from members of the Vapostori and just by merely sending out an invitation to that regard, they come in their numbers. These guys listen to you and they believe you were actually sent by God to deliver Zimbabwe from the shackles of poverty and economic meltdown.
Imagine you just making a public proclamation that any member of the Vapostori or anyone from our beautiful society who is is found marrying a girl below the age of 16 will face the wrath of law, just imagine the impact it could have, believe you me, that message will be taken seriously. You are the highest office in the country and your word is law. Traditional leaders have tried but trust me, their efforts are going to naught, no one seem to listening to the anti child marriage call.
It is time Zimbabwe at least gets political will from the highest office to end this problem that has killed futures on innocent girls. Our future belongs to the youth and girls are a critical constituency. For 37 years Zimbabwe has been running on empty promises, we believe your government is more hands on and action oriented. We have heard you say you are a listening President, hope you also incline your ear towards the call by Zimbabwe to end this cancer which has literally paralized the future of our young girls.
The time to act is now, at least a commitment from your office to end this, supported by action could go a long way in curbing the child marriage scourge. Zimbabwe can not be stuck in primitive practices like child marriages in as much we respect the freedom to worship, Child marriages should end and they should end now.
Thank you for your time, am looking forward to more future engagements with your office in the aforementioned critical areas.