Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chilembo explains govt move to legislate customary law marriages

Chilembo explains govt move to legislate customary law marriages
By Namatama Mundia
Thu 29 July 2010, 14:40 CAT

JUSTICE deputy minister Todd Chilembo has said the legislation of marriages contracted under customary law will address the shortcomings of judicial reliance on undefined customs which are unwritten.

During the Zambia Law Development Commission (ZLDC) stakeholders’ consultative workshop for Lusaka Province on the development of legislation to regulate marriages contracted under customary law on Wednesday, Chilembo said the envisaged piece of legislation would further embrace customary marriages under a protective statutory framework that extends to related matrimonial causes.

He said he was pleased that the ZLDC used a participatory, consultative and inclusive methodology before making appropriate recommendations for legislation.

“This will enable Parliament to enact legislation to regulate marriages contracted under customary law,” Chilembo said.

He said while the government appreciated that while customary law was diverse, it was still possible to come up with laws of general application which were acceptable to Zambians and consistent with natural law and justice.

“In this regard the draft bill should be guided by moral principles and standards which are common to the people of Zambia, while repugnant customs and practices should be identified and specifically proscribed,” said Chilembo.

And ZLDC chairperson justice Hilda Chibomba said the proposed legislation would endeavour to unify a multiplicity of ethnic practices involved in contracting customary law marriages.

“Marriage in Zambia is part of a larger and more comprehensive social setup. Indeed the majority of Zambian people contract marriages under setup,” she said.

“Research has established that even the people who marry under statutory law or religion, still choose to comply with the setup requirements for a valid marriage.”

Chibomba, who is also a Supreme Court judge, said it is hoped that a bill to be developed would capture the aspirations of all Zambians across diverse ethnic groups.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home