Customary Marriages Act
- Commenced on 1 January 1951
- [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]
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Customary Marriages Act [Chapter 5:07].
2. InterpretationIn this Act—“customary marriage officer” means—(a)a magistrate; or(b)an official or chief appointed to be a customary officer in terms of section eighteen;“customary marriage” means a marriage between Africans;“Marriage Act” means the Marriage Act [Chapter 5:11] and includes, where appropriate, the Marriage Act [Chapter 177 of 1963];“marriage consideration” means the consideration given or to be given by any person in respect of the marriage of an African woman, whether such marriage is contracted according to customary law or solemnized in terms of the Marriage Act or this Act;“marriage register” means the marriage register referred to in section eight;“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;“solemnization”, in relation to marriage, means solemnization in terms of this Act.
3. Marriages not to be valid unless solemnized
4. Who must be present at solemnization of marriage
5. Authorization of marriage by magistrate
6. Customary marriage officer may put relevant questions
7. Solemnization of marriage
8. Marriage register
9. Search of marriage registerAny person may at all reasonable times during office hours search the marriage register in the presence of the person for the time being having the custody thereof and may, upon payment of a fee of one dollar, have a true copy of any entry therein certified under the hand of the customary marriage officer for the time being having the custody of such marriage register:Provided that no fee shall be payable by either party to a marriage for a true copy of an entry relating to his marriage.
10. Offences in relation to marriage register
11. Pledging of girls and women in marriage prohibited
12. Certificates as to consent and marriage consideration in marriages under Marriage Act
13. ***[section repealed by section 7 of Act No. 6 of 1997]
14. Evidence for prosecution by husband or wife of accusedNotwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act [Chapter 9:07], no marriage contracted according to customary law, either inside or outside Zimbabwe, which was not registered in terms of the Native Marriages Act [Chapter 79 of 1939] or solemnized in terms of this Act or the Marriage Act shall render either party thereto incompetent to give evidence against the other party.
15. ***[subsection repealed by section 282 of Act 23 of 2004]
15A. Legality of marriages between persons within certain degrees of affinity or consanguinity
16. Dissolution of marriageNo marriage solemnized in terms of this Act or the Marriage Act or registered under the Native Marriages Act [Chapter 79 of 1939] or contracted under customary law before the 1st April, 1918, shall be dissolved except by order of a court of competent jurisdiction in terms of the Matrimonial Causes Act [Chapter 5:13].
17. Validation of certain marriagesAny marriage solemnized in terms of the Marriage Act [Chapter 177 of 1963] before the 1st April, 1930, between Africans is hereby declared to be a legal and valid marriage.
18. Appointment of customary marriage officersThe Minister may appoint any person employed by the State or a local authority or any chief to be a customary marriage officer for the purposes of this Act.
19. Existing marriage registersEvery extract from a marriage register which was kept under the Native Marriages Act [Chapter 79 of 1939] which purports to be certified as a true copy thereof by a customary marriage officer who for the time being has the custody of such marriage register shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein recorded in and before all courts and in criminal and civil proceedings therein and shall be admissible upon its mere production by any person.
History of this document
01 January 1951