- Commenced on 1 March 1965
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2016 and includes any amendments published up to 31 December 2017.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated by the Law Development Commission of Zimbabwe]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Marriage Act [Chapter 5:11].
2. InterpretationIn this Act—“magistrate” means any magistrate appointed in terms of the Magistrates Court Act [Chapter 7:10];“marriage” means a marriage under this Act;“marriage licence” means a licence to marry issued in terms of section sixteen;“marriage officer” means any person who is a marriage officer by virtue of this Act;“Minister” means the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;“minister of religion” means a person designated and registered as a marriage officer in terms of section four;“prior law” means the Marriage Act [Chapter 177 of 1963] or the Validation of Marriages Act [Chapter 180 of 1963];“Registrar” means the Registrar of Marriages referred to in section thirty.
Part II – Marriage officers
3. Magistrate to be marriage officer for districtEvery magistrate shall, by virtue of his office and so long as he holds such office, be a marriage officer for the district in which he holds office.
4. Designation of ministers of religion and other persons as marriage officers
5. Certain persons may in certain circumstances be deemed to have been marriage officers
6. Change of name of religious denomination or organization and amalgamation of religious denominations or organizations
7. Revocation of designation as marriage officer
Part III – Solemnization of marriage
8. Unauthorized solemnization of marriage ceremonies forbidden
9. Publication of banns or notice of intention to marry or issue of marriage licence before marriage
10. Application for publication and acceptance of banns
11. How publication of banns of marriage to be made
12. Certificate of publication of banns
13. Publication outside Zimbabwe of banns or notice of intention to marry
14. Notice of intention to marry
15. Certificate of publication of notice of intention to marry
16. Marriage licence
17. Period of validity of banns, notice of intention to marry and marriage licence
18. Informalities in publication of banns or notice of intention to marry or in issue of marriage licenceWhere in the case of any marriage solemnized after the 1st March, 1965, the provisions of this Act relating to the publication of banns or notice of intention to marry or to the issue of a marriage licence, or the applicable provisions of any law of a country outside Zimbabwe relating to the publication of banns or notice of intention to marry, have not been strictly complied with by reason of an error, omission or oversight on the part of any person respons-ible for such publication or such issue, that marriage shall, if there was no other lawful impediment thereto, be as valid as it would have been if those provisions had been strictly complied with.
19. Objections to marriage
20. Marriage of minors
21. Marriage of minors without consent voidable but not void
22. Prohibition of marriage of persons under certain ages
23. Proof of age of parties to proposed marriageIf parties appear before a marriage officer for the purpose of contracting a marriage with each other and such marriage officer suspects that either of them is of an age which debars him or her from contracting a valid marriage, he shall refuse to solemnize a marriage between them unless he is furnished, to his satisfaction, with proof of age of the party concerned and with such other requirement as may be necessary under section twenty or twenty-two.
24. Legality of marriages between persons within certain degrees of affinity or consanguinity
25. Time and place for, and presence of parties and witnesses at, solemnization of marriage
26. Marriage formulaIn solemnizing any marriage the marriage officer, if he is a minister of religion, may follow the rites usually observed by his religious denomination or organization, but if he is any other marriage officer he shall cause each of the parties in some part of the proceedings to make the following declaration—“I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why, I, A.B., may not be joined in matrimony to C.D., here present.”and each of the parties shall say to the other—“I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, A.B., do take C.D. to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband).”.
27. Certain marriage officers may refuse to solemnize certain marriagesNothing contained in this Act shall be construed as compelling a marriage officer who is—
28. Payments to marriage officers
29. Blessing of a marriageNothing in this Part shall be construed as precluding a minister of religion or a person holding a responsible position in a religious denomination or organization from—
Part IV – Registration of marriages
30. Registrar of MarriagesFor the purpose of performing the functions assigned to him by this Act, there shall be a Registrar of Marriages whose office shall be a public office and shall form part of the Public Service.
31. Register of marriages
32. Registration of marriages by Registrar
33. Correction of errors
Part V – Offences and penalties
34. Penalty for failure to comply with section 31Any marriage officer who knowingly fails to comply with section thirty-one shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level five or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.[subsection as amended by section 4 of Act 22 of 2001]
35. Penalties for solemnizing marriage contrary to this Act and for false representation or statementAny marriage officer who knowingly solemnizes a marriage in contravention of this Act or any person who makes, for any of the purposes of this Act, any false representation or false statement knowing it to be false, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level ten or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.[subsection as amended by section 4 of Act 22 of 2001]
Part VI – Miscellaneous
37. SavingsAny marriage which is validated by or is valid in terms of a prior law shall not be affected by the repeal of that law and anything done under any provision of that law shall be deemed to have been done under the corresponding provision of this Act, if any.
History of this document
01 March 1965