Churches hail Govt for striking off ‘small house’ clause
Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
INDIGENOUS churches have criticised a section of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who were pushing for Section 40 of the Marriages Bill which recognised and protected the rights of people who are cohabiting.
Speaking during the Ordainment of seven bishops of seven different indigenous apostolic churches, Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) executive moderator, Archbishop Johannes Ndanga commended Cabinet for protecting the African culture, as well as Christianity by striking off Section 40 of the Bill.
He dismissed the clause as an insult to African culture and Christianity and retrogressive to significant strides that the Government made in fighting HIV and Aids in the country.
He said it was unfortunate that some NGOs were advocating for Section 40 of the Marriages Bill at the behest of foreign funders who might have ulterior motives.
“We are aware that this did not come from government, but from international NGOs,” said Archbishop Ndanga.
“They were funding that because they thought they were protecting women’s interests, but they did not know that they were trying to protect one woman at the expense of the other.
“That proposed arrangement of formalising infidelity was being done with the motive of destroying our culture. They want our country to be like the United States, UK and other Western countries where women are now buying love by offering men huge sums of money to lure them into marriages.
“These women are now targeting African men. Western countries usually push agendas and propose policies that are not suitable for us.”
ACCZ is an ecumenical board which houses apostolic and Zion churches in the country.
Section 40 of the Marriages Bill generated a lot of debate and attracted a great deal of media attention.
It created controversy because it recognised civil partnerships, prompting Cabinet to strike it off before the Bill came to Parliament.