The Marriages Bill Passed After Revision Of Caluse On Lobola

The Marriages Bill was passed by the National Assembly this Wednesday following amendments to a clause on payment of lobola.

The legislation initially passed the National Assembly in 2020 but Senate objected to the clause on lobola.

Traditional leaders in Senate, led by the Chiefs Council president, Chief Fortune Charumbira, objected to a clause that said payment of lobola could not be regarded as a barrier in solemnising marriage between two consenting adults if they satisfy other requirements of the law.

The traditional leaders said lobola was a fundamental pillar in customary unions. 

They shot down the bill and was sent back to the National Assembly for amendments. 

There was a debate on social media when the Bill passed the National Assembly in 2020 with some saying lobola should be scrapped totally. 

Proponents of this reasoning argued that men were using lobola to abuse women in Marriages. 

Conservatives objected saying lobola was a necessity for uniting families. 

Others said while lobola was not a bad thing, families are now abusing it, taking their daughters as business commodities thereby defeating the essence of the process.

The new amendments allow marriage officers, who include traditional leaders solemnising customary unions in their own areas to ask parties to marriage whether or not lobola has been paid.

The amendments also provide that a marriage officer in a customary union cannot solemnise unions where couples had stayed together for less than five years.

Meanwhile, there is no law that compels Zimbabwean men to pay lobola (bride price) to their in-laws and the arrangement can only be done with the consent of both parties.

More: The Herald

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