Community Development Legal and Parliamentary Affiars

Mixed feelings over Marriage Bill

By Abigail Mzimbawakhe (Midlands Correspondent)

Fuming Gweru residents pleaded for the removal of Section 40 of the Marriage Bill at a meeting that was held on the 30th of August at Gweru Civic Centre.

A number of Gweru residents urged legislators to remove Section 40 of the Marriage Bill arguing when passed the Bill was going to lead to murder, suicide, domestic violence as well as an increase in sexually transmitted diseases.

Speaking at the meeting that was chaired by Honourable Member of Parliament, Mr. Brian Dube, Pastor Tawanda Sibanda said Section 40 of the Marriage Bill should be totally removed and also ordered the legislators to amend section 4.1 and 53.

“We need total removal of section 40 of the Marriage Bill. The legislators should also amend section 41 and 53 as well as section 11 which is not clear. Despite the unnecessary section 40 that was proposed, I applaud the move on the adjustment of age of getting married that is now 18,” said Pastor Sibanda.

Speaking at the meeting, many citizens said section 40 of the Marriage Bill is a taboo that will erode the Zimbabwean culture and increase prostitution and immorality in the country.

“The Marriage Bill is an abomination. Civil partnership is a sin and it is prostitution which is condemned by the Bible. Those who are married should not engage in civil partnership because it is a goblin that only benefits the minority while the majority are suffering”,  said. a participant who identified herself as Mercy.

Youth advocate, Orbert Mufute said the law should have limited the powers of the minister.

“W should not say marriage should be registered within three months with this economy of ours. We do not have jobs so how can we register marriage within 3 months? We need about 12 months to register. The marriage Bill should also introduce ‘kutema ugariri’ as it allows inheriting a brother’s wife after his death,” said Mufute.

Laiza Zvakurumbira from Zimbabwe Network of People Living with HIV said giving someone HIV knowingly is a first degree murder.

“A person who gives someone HIV should be arrested as well as those who do not disclose their status. Our children do not have jobs but the government is implementing unnecessary bills which will only benefit harlots,” she said.

Some of the citizens said that chiefs should not be marriage officers as they will end up being bribed which will turn the society upside down.

Jennifer Chimange from the Women’s Coalition encouraged people to vote for the adoption of the bill since she doesn’t see anything wrong with it.

“I am okay with the bill and chiefs should be marriage offices because they were selected as best candidates in their areas. The age of 18 for marriage is good also as children will be mature enough at that age,” she said.

Rounding up the meeting the chairperson, Honourable Brian Dube said the legislators will consider all the contributions made by the people.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende