The Member of Parliament for Chegutu West Dextor Nduna says some traditions like the one where a father has sex with his daughter before handing her over for marriage must be eradicated if Zimbabwe is to stop child marriages.
Nduna said the tradition of “umholo wewizana” which still obtains in parts of Plumtree and “kuzvarira” in Mashonaland must be stopped because they “are moribund, archaic, antiquated, historic and very old”.
He said this in his contribution to the debate on adopting the Southern African Development Community model law on eradicating child marriages.
Nduna said there was need to align the national constitution and the law because the constitution set the minimum age at which someone should marry at 18 while the law put it at 16.
Nduna said he had an 8-point plan to stop child marriages but had only spelt out four when his time ran out.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to add my voice to the motion by Hon. Gonese which was also supported by Hon. Mpariwa and other Hon. Members. I will try by all means not to repeat what has been said, but I will touch on a few salient points which are key and which I believe can help us unpack and also stop the scourge of child marriages. Recent Constitutional Court ruling that outlawed child marriages for children below the age of 18 needs to be aligned with our Constitution which still allows our children to be married at 16. Mr. Speaker Sir, we need to harmonise our laws together with our Constitution because a nation is as good as it upholds its Constitution.
So, if the Constitution is ultra vires our laws, then we leave a lot to be desired in that aspect. I want to first of all touch on internally displaced persons. The IDPs of our nation because we cannot completely eradicate the issue of child marriages if we still have a tag that speaks to and about alienship. We have a lot of people out there in particular in Chegutu West, Kadoma Central and Mutorashanga where people are disenfranchised and sidelined because they have got a tag on them that calls them aliens.
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