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New Marriages Act Comes Into Operation

New Marriages Act Comes Into Operation

The Marriages Act has come into operation after it was announced in a Statutory Instrument of a Government Gazette published last Friday. The new Act is Chapter 5:17 according to SI, reported The Herald.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa signed the Marriages Act in May this year after debate in Parliament which lasted for almost two years, particularly on payment of roora / lobola (bride price) in a customary marriage.

The Act brings all marriage laws together. Among other things, the Act enacts the Constitutional requirement that the minimum age for marriage is 18 years.

The Zimbabwe Women Lawyers, Veritas, and CGTN have independently put together fact sheets on the new Marriages Act indicating the basics that can help members of the public understand the essence of it. Marriages Act Chapter 5:15 is the new law regulating all marriages in Zimbabwe.

Law expert, Fadzayi Mahere says a lot of the provisions are yet to be tested in a court of law and there are many legal issues that arise from the Act. Pindula News presents the salient points to note from the Marriages Act:

1. AGE OF MARRIAGE

The minimum age of marriage is 18 years for both girls and boys. It is, therefore, a crime to marry off a child and anyone involved in that will be prosecuted. It is a substantial crime if the parents or guardians are involved.

2. CONSENT

There must be free and full consent from anyone wanting to get married.

3. TYPES OF MARRIAGES:

a). A civil marriage is a monogamous marriage between a man and a woman.

b). A registered customary marriage is potentially polygamous and done according to customary rites.

c). A qualified marriage is a union contracted according to religious rites which is not registrable as civil or customary marriage and is potentially polygamous.

A registered customary law marriage may be converted to a civil marriage.

4. UNREGISTERED CUSTOMARY LAW UNIONS (KUBVISIRANA PFUMA)

  • Unregistered customary law unions are not recognised marriages
  • Unions contracted after the new ACT must register within 3 months of the date of the union.
  • However, unions that existed before this ACT must be registered within 12 months.
  • Failure to register does not invalidate the union, guardianship, custody and the rights of succession of children in such a marriage. (limited recognition).

5. CIVIL PARTNERSHIP (KUBIKA MAPOTO)

It is not a marriage but recognised ONLY for purposes of property sharing It is a relationship of a man and a woman above the age of 18 years living together on a genuine domestic basis It can co-exist with any other marriage including a Cavil marriage.

6. EQUAL STATUS OF ALL MARRIAGES

All marriages are equal. there is no marriage superior to the other.

7. LOBOLA

For customary law marriages, the agreement relating to lobola or marriage consideration is necessary. Customary law formalities are a prerequisite.

8. EQUAL RIGHTS

Parties to a marriage have equal rights and obligations during the subsistence of the marriage and at its dissolution.

9. MARRIAGE OFFICERS:

a. Magistrates

b. Ministers of religion

c. Chiefs (they solemnise customary marriages)

d. Heads of embassies

10. DIVORCE LAW (MATRIMONIAL CAUSES ACT)

The law on divorce applies to all types of marriages and civil partnerships but does not apply to unregistered customary law unions.

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17 Comments

Citizen raPep naChamisa 4 months ago

Wotoona rimwe richanzwa nekubvisa pfuma nekutorerwa half yeproperty yese after divorce nemunhu asiri mhandara mozotoona kuty manotes aShadaya kuseri😂


Sorojena 4 months ago

The problem starts when you take national marriage laws into private marriages, it causes disharmony . Marriage laws are not a one size fit all in Zimbabwe, usually people follow their customary pre-nuptials which recognises a couple married. Zvechirungu izvi zvonetsa.

mawire 4 months ago

uuuuu ndochimwe chiratidzo chekuguma kwenyika ukaona vanhu vave kumo****ra mirau yaMwari
vhurai mavhesi ekuroora muone kuti satan akubata ushe muvanhu
Vhurai Genesis 24


Hon 4 months ago

wonen are given powers...son there will be untouchables


4 months ago

hezvo nhaiwe mawire


Blue💙 says 4 months ago

Bhoo here @mawire


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@mawire 4 months ago

Zimbabwe is not a christian country papa, your christian leterature doesn't apply


,,, dott 4 months ago

Mawire wadzamirwa nei, ukuti ungavachinjise vanhu hre


Jimalo Jenarari 4 months ago

Ndopaunoona rimwe jaya dzubvu richiita defend kuroora mvandara. Ityai Mwari imi...merechi haisi yekutamba nayo.


🙄 4 months ago

Nemadire ari kuita vana vedu zvinhu mazuvano pa18 dzatemwa apa vazhinji vanenge vava masingle mum or madeep shafts azongomirira kuroorwa. At 12/13 vana vari kuvatana pachavo. Tichaona a generation of young mothers and mvandara zhinji especially starting with ama2000.


Citizen raPep naChamisa 4 months ago

I hate to disagree with you,but ama2000 ndogeneration isiri kutoroora nekuroorwa manje
As an ama2K i will show you what i mean,all my peers their siblings hapana kana ati aroora apa paage ye20 Generation yekuma80‘s inenge yatoroora kare

🙄 4 months ago

@Citizen...l agree with you.

Citizen raPep naChamisa 4 months ago

😂😂mazuwano mukomana unotoroora kuzvima 30 uko wanyatsobata mari coz thaza yepfuma haichangobatike sekudhara and mabby haabvume kutiziswa aya anoda zvemaroora squad nemaphotoshoot,mabby arikuzoroorwa after University kuzvima 24-25 uko.im speaking because i have evidence and statistics say so too

Triple S 4 months ago

All this is nonsense ,if they are saying an 18yr old child can engage into marriage at this age .What about those who are at school thus the reason why there early child marriages n that 18yr old child will be living under his/her parent's roof, how is he/she going to take care the the family that she /he started .Thus the reason why ama 2000 end up disrespecting the elders just because the Government is supporting them


i 4 months ago

kubika mapoto



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