Marriages Bill lapses for the 3rd time

Marriages Bill lapses for the 3rd time
Marriages Bill lapses for the 3rd time

Marriages Bill lapses for the 3rd time

The Marriages Bill which seeks to consolidate marriage laws in Zimbabwe has lapsed for the third time due to Parliament inefficiencies.

Since July 2019 when it was gazetted, the Bill has been affected by the end of Parliamentary sessions.

It was first affected by the end of the First Session (2018-2019), Second Session (2019-2020) and now Third Session (2020-2021).

However, all hope is not lost as Bill can still be restored to the Order Paper at the stage they were when they lapsed through a vote.

The Bill has important sections that will help end issues of child marriages that have been on a rise in Zimbabwe.

However, Chiefs in the Senate are willing to delay the Bill by whatever it takes until lobola is made a condition for marriage.

Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi on the other hand is against making lobola mandatory for people to wed. He argues that such a move will reduce women to children who cannot make decisions.

Ziyambi also says the moves go against international instruments that the country signed to.

Chiefs anger Ziyambi on Marriages Bill

The last time the Senate met, Minister Ziyambi expressed concern over the delays by chiefs to conclude their consultations on the Bill.

‘’These meetings with these lawyers have been happening for a long time and they have not been resolving some of these issues. It will continue to be a cycle. I think we need to also appear to be serious in dealing with this issue. It is now an embarrassment, to be honest.

‘’While I hear you, that is why I had said openly that we can shelf it for now because I do not want to rush you and then we do not do a proper job and you said you do not want to. We are now delaying everything else that is good in this Bill because of an issue that I agreed that let us put the lobola thing in there. ‘

‘’I even offered to say okay, bring whoever you want, and I will identify officers and say sit there and agree on the amendment and we do it. I think we must work within timelines and not have something on the Order Paper for almost eternity and then we tell ourselves that we are unprepared,’’ he said.

Marriages Bill lapses for the 3rd time

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