Legislators Want The Age of Marriage Consent, For Both Genders , Raised From16 To 18 years

Legislators in Zimbabwe want the age of marriage for both males and females raised from 16 to 18 years. Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana has comes under attack from senators across the political divide over his recent sentiments that children as young as 12 years old could be married if they were idle. MDC-T senator for Midlands, Lilian Timveos, is steering the motion in the Upper House calling on the government to enact and enforce laws that raise the age of marriage to 18 for both girls and boys. If approved this will see parents or guardians who accept lobola from men seeking to marry girls under 18 years face prosecution together with their children’s suitors. Timveos said: “The Marriage Act Chapter 5.11 is unconstitutional because it allows marriage for people below the age of 18.” “Sections 20 and 22 of this Act say, a girl between the age of 16 and 18 can marry with the consent of her mother or father”. “The Customary Marriage Act, Chapter 5.07 is also unconstitutional on the basis that it doesn’t provide for a minimum age of 18 years for marriage.” Zanu-PF senator for Mashonaland Central, Monica Mavhunga, said under the envisaged dispensation, men who marry children under 18 years would be prosecuted. “If a person is engaged in child marriage, one should be given a deterrent punishment,” she said. “All those people who agree to these early child marriages should also be taken as accomplices and be sentenced as well because they are equally guilty.” Chiefs’ representative in the Senate, Chief Musarurwa Chief Musarurwa of Mashonaland East, trashed Tomana’s sentiments, saying anyone who married a 12-year-old girl was a rapist. Age of consent Johannes Tomana. Source: Chronicle

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