Breaking News

84% of Zimbabwe marriages unregistered

by Staff reporter
07 February 2013 | 4442 Views
ABOUT 84 percent of marriages in Zimbabwe are unregistered customary unions, a development that has fuelled a surge in inheritance and divorce cases before the courts. Speaking at a workshop on marriage and succession laws in Harare yesterday, Deputy Registrar-General Ms Locadia Majonga said unregistered marriages had seen a lot of people fighting over estates in the event of death or divorce.

The workshop, which brought together the RG's office, church leaders and cultural groups, sought to come up with recommendations that would assist Governemnt in reviewing marriage laws.

The Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs administers the marriage laws.

"The relationships that are in the majority in Zimbabwe are legally referred to as unions and not marriages because they are not registered," said Ms Majonga.

"About 84 percent are not registered and do not qualify under the definition of marriage, which is a contract between two parties of different sexes."

There are two types of marriages legally recognised in Zimbabwe, the Marriages Act Chapter 5:11 which is monogamous and the registered customary union, which is covered under the Customary Marriages Act Chapter 5:07.

Ms Majonga said registered customary union recognises the union as being guided by cultural rules and a man was allowed to marry more than one wife and is the legally recognised guardian of the children.

Ms Majonga said unregistered customary unions had created a lot of problems among spouses, with women being the most victims.

The union involves a man and woman living together after fulfilling cultural marriage ceremonies like lobola payment, but without signing the legal marriage register as required by the laws of Zimbabwe.

"We have a problem regarding all the unregistered relationships because in the eyes of the law, they are only recognised for maintenance purposes," she said.

"In the event that one dies or divorces while in an unregistered union, there are problems with regards to inheritance and women in most cases suffer a blow as they act as shock absorbers."

Ms Majonga said there were recent cases where the unions had been recognised for the purposes of adultery or bigamy.

"We have also seen those in a union trying to move towards the registration of another marriage in terms of Chapter 5:11 and the intended registration of the marriage have been stopped because a person will be committing bigamy since one of the parties will be in a union," Ms Majonga said.

She said there was a need for Zimbabwe to comply with the international convention on marriages.

"We have signed international conventions and we have to comply with that," she said.

"It is, however, up to the people to decide whether or not they want all unions to be registered, that is why we have brought the issues for discussion.

"Another issue that we think should be addressed is the Matrimonial Causes Act. It does not provide a percentage upon which judges can make a decision as to whether or not to grant either of the parties a certain component of the property."

Registrar-General Mr Tobaiwa Mudede said legislation on marriage had loopholes and required urgent attention to protect the family and cultural values.

He said there was a need for provisions of the Civil Marriage Act to deal with problems associated with African cultural values.

"The Civil Marriage Act requires stakeholders to look into it and probably find ways of addressing the issue with a view to suit our cultural values and beliefs," said Mr Mudede.

"What is important is love between the two parties, we have realised that some of the marriages are only on paper and are not in love which is important for the unity of any family."

Other women's groups who presented papers at the workshop expressed concern over the inheritance laws which they said were a disaster to children.

They called for the protection of children in the country's inheritance laws.

Pastor David Chinyere of Kingdom Ministries said a marriage should be a lifetime contract.




"The new world order is distorting our culture and you see things like a six-year marriage contract being registered. Just like homosexuality, this should not be allowed in our country as it destroys the morale fibre," he said.

Pastor Chinyere said a holistic approach was needed to reduce divorce cases which were affecting families and cultural values

Marriages

Source: TH

Should airtime and street vendors pay the $1 a day State levy?

Yes
40%
No
40%
Desperation
20%
5

Comments

News Updates

Email:

Latest News

Why South Africa will not renew Zimbabweans' special permits - Over a ...

by Staff Reporter | 29 July 2014 | 1365 Views

Zephania Ngodzo in near fist fight over Bosso move - FORMER Highlander...

by Sports reporter | 29 July 2014 | 756 Views

'Renewal Team' now a confirmed separate political party, says MDC-T - ...

by Douglas Mwonzora | 29 July 2014 | 727 Views

Suspected MDC-T thugs burn down MDC-Renewal official's home - The home...

by Tererai Karimakwenda | 29 July 2014 | 720 Views

Zanu-PF dragging Zimbabwe over the edge of the abyss - Zanu-PF's decis...

by Wilbert Mukori | 29 July 2014 | 1406 Views

'Macheso' in botched car deal - Sungura musician Alick Macheso's ex-wi...

by Staff reporter | 29 July 2014 | 4077 Views

UMD did not join but it integrated with the Renewal Team - However nob...

by Ashirai Mtirikwi Mawere | 29 July 2014 | 2181 Views

Jonathan Moyo poll appeal: Supreme Court reserves judgement - The Sup...

by Staff reporter | 29 July 2014 | 2219 Views

Tsvangirai, Biti warned - Rights defender and civic society leader, De...

by Staff reporter | 29 July 2014 | 4369 Views

Is there a vacuum in Zimbabwean politics?

by Mbango Sithole | 29 July 2014 | 1341 Views

Mashakada's Nation Economic Council is a stupid idea devoid of merit -...

by Nomusa Garikai | 29 July 2014 | 1182 Views

'Mugabe rewarded with Sadc chair post' - President Robert Mugabe's asc...

by Staff reporter | 29 July 2014 | 1488 Views

Tendai Biti led rebels unveil signature party colour - The Tendai Biti...

by Staff reporter | 29 July 2014 | 2660 Views

Bosso targets the return of Gilbert Banda, Ngodzo

by Staff reporter | 29 July 2014 | 1865 Views

Protector Plus 'night campaigns' to promote condom usage - Population ...

by Staff reporter | 29 July 2014 | 1550 Views

Orlando Pirates scout Dembare striker - News coming out of Zimbabwe is...

by Sports reporter | 29 July 2014 | 3659 Views

'Obert Mpofu too rich for bribes' - FORMER Mines minister Obert Mpofu...

by Staff reporter | 29 July 2014 | 3942 Views

Prophet Angel praying for Ghanaian President - Picture - The picture w...

by Staff reporter | 29 July 2014 | 3536 Views

Zanu-PF scramble for Mugabe's good graces - THE scramble has started i...

by Staff reporter | 29 July 2014 | 2342 Views

Obama pays tribute to Zimbabwean girl - US President Barack Obama on M...

by Staff reporter | 29 July 2014 | 5544 Views

Mduduzi Mathuthu terribly sorry about Shonalised Chronicle

by Ndou Paul | 29 July 2014 | 6638 Views

Scandal rocks Miss Grand Zimbabwe beauty pageant

by Bekezela Tshuma | 29 July 2014 | 4423 Views

Tsvangirai denies bribery accusation

by Staff reporter | 29 July 2014 | 2755 Views

Knives out for Zanu-PF Mutare mogul - Knives are out for Mutare busine...

by Staff reporter | 29 July 2014 | 2135 Views

Police to maintain a 24 hour presence at fuel stations

by Staff reporter | 29 July 2014 | 4528 Views

Entertainment

Miss Zimbabwe UK 2014 aims to raise bar in quality

by Staff Reporter | 29 July 2014 | 1113 Views

Gospel singer wants prostitution to be legalised - Controversial gospe...

by Staff reporter | 27 July 2014 | 3609 Views

Zimbabwean boy revels in Soul Brothers music

by Lovemore Dube | 26 July 2014 | 6786 Views

Carl Joshua Ncube to tour with brand new material - The brand new stan...

by Staff Reporter | 24 July 2014 | 961 Views

Macheso gears up for UK tours - In an apparent joint preparation for t...

by Entertainment reporters | 23 July 2014 | 1866 Views

DJ Munya is back - After a two-year hiatus, DJ Munya - real name Munya...

by Entertainment Reporter | 23 July 2014 | 3745 Views

White guy plays chitekete - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp16XF-Tcf...

by Staff Reporter | 23 July 2014 | 5470 Views