Church leaders debate on Marriage Bill

The RELIGIOUS community met yesterday to debate on the Marriage Bill calling on the government to realign some Sections of the Bill.

Church leaders debate on Marriage Bill

National Elders Forum chairperson Felix Mukonowengwe said church leaders from various denominations expressed the need for government to consider upholding our culture as well as not promoting adultery by considering Civil Partnership in the Marriage Law.

“We have met as church elders to seek clarification of the new Marriage Bill before it comes into law with a view to realigning some sections in line with the new Constitution in this new dispensation,” said Mukonowengwe.

“The introduction of this new law is worrisome as it might cause disharmony in the country, in marriages and may cause the spread of diseases through extramarital affairs.

“We never heard of anyone who brought a complaint against the existing law on marriages, so why introduce a new law?

“Among us we have a legal practitioner who is also a church elder, Caleb Mutandwa helping religious leaders to simplify the Bill,” he said.

Addressing the church leaders, Elder Mutandwa said the new Marriage Bill is good although there are some sections like Section 40 sub section 5 which still need to be considered.

“As the church our fears are that the law might allow partners engage in adultery especially on the Civil partnership marriage law which might allow one partner to have extra marital affair.

“Section 40 (5) is the one we want removed from the new marriage bill as it infringes on other types of marriages and other laws such as the civil marriage law and customary law.”

Elder Mutandwa said the church wants the Bill to incorporate all races other than having a marriage Act that divides cultures.

“The new bill must not divide marriages rather they should be a single Act that incorporates both civil and customary marriage tisavenemutemo unonzi ndewechirungu kana wechivanhu asi tive nemutemo mumwechete.

“On religions to have their own marriage officers the law should be specific on religions that are allowed to register marriages.

“Our fears are that Satanists will find a way to manipulate the Bill and register as marriage officers and allow Satanism take part in our nation.

“Concerning child marriages we all agree that they should be void and seek it further to abolish girls under the age of sixteen years to have sexual intercourse.

“We want to continue discouraging the law from giving any room to allow people of the same sex to marry,” said Elder Mutandwa.

The Forum urged church leaders and civic groups to continue debating on the Bill before it is enacted into law.

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