Lobola law splits Parliament, Senate

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter

THE Government might invoke provisions of the Constitution to resolve differences between the Senate and the National Assembly over the Marriages Amendment Bill if a solution is not found by the end of the current Parliamentary session next month, legislators heard.

The Bill sailed through the National Assembly last year, but since then, it has been stalled in Senate after disagreements emerged between the Government and traditional leaders on a clause related to payment of lobola.

Debate on the Bill had resumed in April this yea, but there was no headway in finding common ground on Clause 16 which provides that 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.

This has not gone down well with traditional leaders led by President of Chiefs Council Fortune Charumbira who argued that payment of bride price was a hallmark of marriage in customary unions.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told the National Assembly on Wednesday that he was giving negotiations a last chance and would apply provisions of the Constitution regarding what happens should there be disagreements between the National Assembly and Senate.

This was after legislators raised concern on the delay in finalising the Marriages Amendment Bill given that it sought to outlaw child marriages.

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