By Farirai Machivenyika-Senior Reporter

Date:   09 March 2022

The Marriages Bill was yesterday finally passed by the National Assembly following amendments made to the proposed law by Senate last month. The Bill was initially passed in the National Assembly in 2020 but was held up in Senate after traditional leaders objected to a clause that said that payment or non-payment of a bride price could not be regarded as a barrier in solemnizing marriage between two consenting adults if they satisfied other requirements of the law. But traditional leaders, led by Chiefs Council president Fortune Charumbira, argued that payment of bride price was a hallmark of marriage in customary unions. There had been differences between the Government and traditional leaders on a clause related to lobola payment in customary unions and the powers of chiefs as marriage officers. Therefore there are a lot of adjustments done and these include the new amendment that allows marriage officers, who include traditional leaders solemnising customary unions in their own areas to ask parties to a marriage whether or not lobola has been paid .

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