New Law Does Not Ban Lobola: Ziyambi Ziyambi
14 June 2020
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The Marriages Bill does not outlaw the payment of bride price (lobola), but it seeks to prohibit marriage officers from requesting proof of payment of the same when solemnising a customary marriage, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi has said.

The current law requires marriage officers to satisfy themselves with proof of payment of the traditional bride price before formalising a customary marriage.

As a result, some families were not consenting to solemnisation of customary marriages until the groom pays full or part of the amount he would have been charged by his in-laws.

Minister Ziyambi told The Sunday Mail yesterday that there was a glaring discrepancy where the same onerous requirement did not apply to civil marriages.

“In terms of our current marriages laws, there are two types of marriages: civil and customary marriages.

“What has been happening is that in the case of a civil marriage, a couple would go to the marriage officer to solemnise the marriage with no questions being asked about payment of lobola,” he said.

“As long as the couple satisfies the requirements set out in the law, they solemnise the marriage through their marriage certificate.

“However, in terms of a customary marriage, the marriage officer would ask whether lobola had been paid to the bride’s family.

“That requirement had to be satisfied first before the marriage is solemnised.

State Media