Zimbabwe to ban child marriages

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Zimbabwe will formally make it an offence to reach a customary marriage agreement on behalf of children below the age of 18 years.

The state owned Herald newspaper reports vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa as saying that any marriage arrangements made on behalf of children yet to reach 18 years will be criminalized.

Parents will also be banned from agreeing to a bride price for their children who haven’t reached 18 years.

Mnangagwa is reported to say that the country’s Marriage Act will be amended.

He said that the government will not have to wait for a Constitutional Court ruling to outlaw child marriages, and has already identified legislation which needs to be changed.

The vice-president also said that a clause in the Marriage Act, allowing for the marriage of minors with the consent of their guardians or a court, would be repealed.

The Customary Act, which was silent on child marriages, would be amended to include a clause prohibiting it, he added.

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