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Zimbabwe crafts law to ban lobola for minors

16 March 2016, 16:26

Harare – Zimbabwe's parliament is set to pass a new law that would see parents arrested for accepting lobola (brides-price) for children younger than 18, reports the state-owned Herald newspaper.  

The new act would be passed soon, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Tuesday.

Mnangagwa said that government had not waited for the Constitutional Court ruling, but had already identified laws that had to be aligned with the southern African nation’s constitution.

In a landmark ruling early this year, Zimbabwe's Con-Court banned marriage for all under 18s.

The Con-Court decision came after legal watchdog Veritas challenged the country's laws that did not set a minimum age for marriage.

Also read: Zimbabwe faces worst malnutrition in 15 years: UNICEF

The group wanted the courts to align the child marriages act with the country’s new charter, which was adopted at a referendum in 2013.

Reports indicated that child marriages were on the rise in the southern African country due to some popular Apostolic Christian sects which allowed marriage of much younger girls to older men.

Mnangagwa reportedly told parliament that even guardians who accepted lobola for children younger than 18 would be arrested.

"The act should also make it an offence for a guardian or other person to enter into a lobola agreement or other customary marriage arrangement or ceremony in respect of a person under the age of 18," Mnangagwa was quoted saying.

- News 24


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