Zimbabwe: Zim Youth Council wants Parly to speed up amendment to marriage bill

The Zimbabwe Youth Council (ZYC) called on the Parliament of Zimbabwe to speed up the Marriage Bill and pass it to ensure immediate protection for young girls following the recent death of Anna Machaya, 15, in Bocha, Marange.

Speaking at a press conference in Harare, ZYC President Chiedza Juru said her organization will create platforms that will work with communities to tackle the scourge of child marriage.

“We call on the Parliament of Zimbabwe to urgently pass the Marriage Bill 2019 to bring marriage laws into line with Articles 78 and 81 of the Constitution which state that anyone under the age of 18 is a child and that marriage with children under the age of 18 is prohibited, ”Juru said.

The marriage bill suffered major setbacks after reaching an impasse in parliament as disagreements emerged over Article 16 which provides that the payment or non-payment of a dowry cannot be considered a dowry. obstacle to the solemnization of marriage between two consenting adults if they meet other requirements. of the law.

“We will create more platforms to educate all citizens, especially children and those living in communities affected by child marriage on the rights of children expressed in our Constitution and the Convention on the Rights of the Child to ensure that we prevent child marriages from taking place.

“Through the Young Parliamentarians program, we will work with elected parliamentarians from 210 constituencies to educate children in their communities. We will continue to advocate for laws, policies and programs that protect our girls and empower their communities, ”said Juru

She said the organization will lobby lawmakers to improve laws and ensure mandatory penalties for perpetrators.

“We will pressure lawmakers to consider changing laws to ensure a mandatory minimum sentence for child molesters. ZYC will use the 29th Junior Parliament Official Opening Platform to bring these issues to parliament for debate and action. It takes a village to raise a We all have a responsibility to protect, educate and empower our girls by ensuring that they grow up in a healthy environment where they can reach their full potential, ”she said.