Tendai Gukutikwa Post Correspondent
LEADER of the Johanne Masowe eChishanu Apostolic Sect, Andby Makururu, popularly known as Madzibaba Andby, has pledged to complement Government’s efforts to end violence against women and the girl child.
Members of his sect recently converged at the Mutare Showgrounds for the International Women’s Day celebrations, which are running under the theme “Each for Equal”.
The event was organised by the Women’s Coalition in Zimbabwe.
Madzibaba Makururu vowed to uphold the rights of women and girls, and ending child marriages.
“As Vapostori, we have to move with the times and desist from old practices. I will work with Government in fighting child marriages.
“For the country to prosper, the rights of women and the girl child should be prioritised. They should not be victimised either in the home, at work, streets or at church. As men, we should also fight for the protection of these rights,” he said.
Madzibaba Makururu, through his Ruvheneko Rwenyeredzi Trust (RRT), promised to transform the indigenous church to suit global trends and values, chief among them safeguarding the girl child against abuse.
He said the Trust will also raise the red flag on child marriages and drug abuse amongst the youths.
He further urged other apostolic male sect leaders to become gender champions.
“I will be going around the churches preaching against this evil practice of marrying children. However, l will ensure that my house is in order first before engaging other churches.”
Madzibaba Makururu said RRT will assist all children who fall prey to abuse, regardless of their religion.
Also addressing the same gathering, Africa University’s Dean for the College of Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance, Professor Pamela Machakanja, said there is need to double efforts to reduce violence against women and children.
She also said capacity building workshops can help promote women’s confidence and trust between women and men.
“Research evidence by different actors, including gender and peace practitioners, continues to show that violence against women remains a significant problem in Zimbabwe despite the clear and profound guiding values and legislative laws.
“We should keep emphasising zero tolerance to domestic and sexual violence. As communities, we are encouraged to mobilise and support Government’s efforts in curbing all forms of domestic and sexual violence,” she said.
Research conducted by United Nations’ Population Fund (UNFPA) revealed that one in three women aged between 15 and 49 is being physically abused, while one in four women has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.
Some married women are also experiencing spousal emotional violence.