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The government’s long-awaited marriage bill which is supposed to consolidate all marriage laws and align them with the constitution was gazetted on the 19th of July 2019. 

Ever since the 1980s, the government wanted to amend marriage laws but the ideas remained largely unarticulated. In January 2016 the constitutional court gave the Government a nudge with the judgement they passed in a case brought by Veritas Zimbabwe where the court declared child marriage to be unconstitutional 

In the existing law, we have civil marriages and customary marriages 

The principal aims of the bill are:

  • To combine the marriage law in a single Act of parliament 
  • To align the marriage law with the constitution especially underage marriage and gender equality 

The changes brought about by the bill are:

To end child marriages


To add Civil partnerships 

Under clause 40 of the bill, civil partnerships are a male and female who are in a romantic relationship, leaving together but not married. 

This raises important social and moral issues that need to be debated.

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