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Lobola or Bride Price no longer required in Zimbabwe

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Lobola or Bride Price no longer required in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has implemented a new lobola law which does not need the traditional bride price to be paid before a marriage can be recognized.

Afromambo has learned from the state media that the new lobola law has been put in place after the government noticed with concern that some parents and guardians had been using the lobola system as means to get money from the sons-in-law.

According to Ziyambi Ziyambi who is the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, some parents have been commodifying the tradition of bride price and some even going to the extent of refusing to acknowledge their children’s marriages until the bride price is paid in full.

Speaking on the new law, Ziyambi Ziyambi told The Herald,

The change in the marriage consideration (lobola) in our indigenous culture was meant to strengthen the bond between families, but a worrying trend has started over time to commoditize or monetize the marriage relationship for material gain.

Some relatives of the bride charge the highest possible amount for themselves, while others do not acknowledge the formalisation of marriage until the the marriage bride price is paid in full.

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This is the reason why so many of our customary and non-customary marriages are unregistered. To put an end to this problem, the Bill will no longer need a customary marriage officer to satisfy himself or herself that there has been an agreement on the transfer of marriage consideration.

However, the Minister made sure that he made it clear that the government was not, in fact, banning lobola with the new law. He emphasized that if the two parties are in agreement to pay the lobola, then they will not be stopped from doing so.

If the parties are willing to perform the lobola such consideration the Registrar (of Marriage) is under obligation to record it when registering the marriage to reduce disagreements about the terms of such agreements

SOURCE: Iharare

Written by Afromambo

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