HomeLocal NewsMudede reads riot act to marriage officers

Mudede reads riot act to marriage officers

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Registrar-General (RG) Tobaiwa Mudede says all church representatives or pastors who solemnise “marriages of conveniences” risk losing their marriage officers’ licences.

Addressing marriage officers from different denominations in Harare yesterday, Mudede said his office was inundated with reports of bogus marriage officers accused of solemnising marriages of convenience.

“We have cases where different pastors solemnise marriages even when the other spouse is on the deathbed, this is done for material gain and foreigners are taking advantage of the loophole in our system,” Mudede said.

“We will not hesitate to scrap licences of marriage officers who will be caught on the wrong side of the law.”

Mudede said the RG’s Office had scrapped the old marriage registers and introduced new mechanisms to curb the rot.

Under the new regulations, marriage officers are now required to produce marriage licences before being given the new marriage registers.

Mudede said anyone who intended to be married would have to go through a security process that includes fingerprint and photograph checks to reduce incidents of multiple marriages.

He said the new marriage register had security features guarding against double dipping.

“Marriages are now serialised, meaning that all recorded marriages have a serial number and are computerised at the Registrar-General’s Office. They are no longer just documents which could be done by anyone. We have, through this system, managed to plug out all loopholes and it’s going to be difficult for foreigners or anyone to have multiple marriages under Chapter 5:11,” Mudede said.

He said foreigners intending to marry Zimbabweans were now required to produce a certificate of no marriage from their country origin, which would be verified before they are allowed to tie the knot.

“Foreigners have to produce a certificate of no marriage and we verify this. Most of these foreigners trying to marry are arrested by immigration,” Mudede said.

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