MINISTER'S PROPOSED AMENDMENTS FOR CONSIDERATION DURING COMMITTEE STAGE
The Marriages Bill was read for the second time in the National Assembly on Tuesday 10th March 2020. In replying to the Second Reading debate the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs indicated that he would be proposing Committee Stage amendments.
The Minister's proposed amendments appeared on the National Assembly Order Paper [agenda] for 12th March, but the Committee Stage did not start on that day and now appears at the head of Order Paper for Tuesday 17th March. The Notice of Amendments containing the full text of the proposed amendments can be downloaded below.
The amendments affect the provisions of the Bill regarding marriage officers and civil partnerships.
CHIEFS AS MARRIAGE OFFICERS
Clause 9 to be replaced. Under the new clause only designated chiefs will be marriage officers for customary law marriages. Designation will be by the Minister and subject to conditions to be set out in regulations.
HEADS OF EMBASSIES AND CONSULAR MISSIONS ETC AS MARRIAGE OFFICERS
An entirely new clause 10 to be inserted making certain ambassadors etc ex officio marriage officers for the purposes of the new Act, subject to one of the parties to a proposed marriage being a Zimbabwean citizen or permanent resident - and other conditions to be prescribed in regulations.
Clause 40 of the Bill will NOT be dropped. Instead, subclause (5) will be replaced by entirely new subclauses (5) and (6) whose objective is to allay the misunderstandings and fears aroused by the original text of the Bill.