Zimbabwean authorities on Friday charged a man with murder after his 14-year-old wife died at a religious shrine last month of complications due to childbirth.
Death of young Anna Machaya had sparked several outrage on social media, drawing condemnation from rights groups and the United Nations.
Machaya’s husband Hatirarami Momberume, 26, was arrested this week and arraigned before a magistrate’s court in Mutare, Zimbabwe’s third-largest city, on Friday.
The husband, Momberume, was charged with murder for failing to take his wife to hospital when she went into labour pain, despite “realising that there was a real risk or possibility that his conduct… might cause death”, court documents showed.
He was also charged with having sex with a minor and remanded in custody without entering his plea as age of sexual consent is 16.
Midwives who attended Machaya when she died on 15 July were named in court and are also at risk of arrest.
They are accused of trying to conceal their daughter’s age by handing investigators a birth certificate belonging to Machaya’s 22-year-old cousin.
Marrying before the age of 18 has been illegal since 2016 in Zimbabwe, when the Constitutional Court struck down a section of the Marriage Act.