Zimbabwe passes Marriages Amendment Bill, bride price mandatory

The amended law empowers marriage officers to find out whether a bride price was paid.

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Zimbabwe's Marriages Amendment Bill has been signed into law by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on March 8, 2022. This follows amendments made to the proposed law by the Senate in February 2022. 

The payment of lobola before marriage under customary union, is now mandatory, with a clause empowering marriage officers to ascertain whether a bride price was paid.

After the approval of the amendments by the Senate in February 2022, the bill had to be returned to the national assembly for it to consider the changes before it was sent to President Mnangagwa, writes Farirai Machivenyika for The Herald

The bill was initially passed in the national assembly in 2020 but was held up in the 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 solemnising marriage between two consenting adults, if they satisfied other requirements of the law.