Mozambique: Pastor Arrested for Child Rape

December 24, 2016

The Mozambican police in Gondola district, in the central province of Manica, have arrested a pastor, 56 year old Nelson Simoes, for “marrying” a 13 year old girl.

Simoes is a pastor in the Johane Maranje sect, who claim to be followers of the Zimbabwean “prophet” Johane Maranje, who died in 1963.

The girl, who has not been named, was the sixth wife of Simoes, who claims to have fathered 23 children. He told reporters that he “married” the girl last year. He claimed her parents asked him to take her to his home where she would serve as a spouse.

Simoes says he was surprised when the police arrested him on charges of child rape. “The woman married with the consent of her parents”, he said. “They wanted to charge me 17,000 meticais (about 240 US dollars) in ‘lobolo' (bride price), and I paid 4,000”.

The police, however, regarded this as a case of child abuse. “He took the girl when she was 12 years old”, said Elsidia Filipe, spokesperson for the Manica Provincial Police Command. “We condemn this practice and he will be held criminally responsible”.

Filipe said a second man has been arrested for attempting to bribe the police. He offered 9,000 meticais for the release of Simoes.

“The pastor has been detained because he had sexual relations with a minor”, said Filipe. “The other has been detained because he tried to corrupt some members of the force who are working on the case”.








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