AN INTERROGATION OF THE LAW RELATING TO COHABITATION IN ZIMBABWE AND THE NEED FOR LAW REFORM

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Author: 
BEVERLEY CASMILA MADZIKATIRE AND ELIZABETH RUTSATE
Journal Citation: 
UZ Law Journal ISSN 2617-20146
Media Neutral Citation: 
UZSLRJ III
Publication Date: 
31 October 2019

AN INTERROGATION OF THE LAW RELATING TO COHABITATION IN ZIMBABWE AND THE NEED FOR LAW REFORM1

BY BEVERLEY CASMILA MADZIKATIRE2 AND ELIZABETH RUTSATE3

 

ABSTRACT

This article specifically interrogates the extent to which the continued lack of recognition of cohabitation relationships under Zimbabwean law has resulted in disproportionate gendered impacts on women involved in such relationships. Yet in all fairness and to a large extent, a cohabitation relationship performs the same function as that of a legally recognised marriage. It argues that the non-recognition is discriminatory and violates section 56(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. The article builds a case on the need for law reform of marriage laws in Zimbabwe that takes into account international best practice.

Key words: Cohabitation, property, marriage, equality, non- discrimination

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1           This article is largely drawn from a dissertation entitled, “A Critique of the Law Relating to Cohabitation in Zimbabwe and Proposed Reforms” written by Beverley Casmila Madzikatire in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the
Bachelor of Laws Honours Degree (LLBs)obtained in 2018 that was supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Rutsate who has further revised and edited it as at 15 September 2018;

2           Beverley Casmila Madzikatire is a former law student at the University of Zimbabwe, Faculty of Law who graduated with the LLBs Honours degree in 2018.

3          Dr. Elizabeth Rutsate is a Senior Law Lecturer within the Faculty of Law at the University of Zimbabwe.