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New rules halt court marriages


Several couples intending to get married were yesterday turned away without making their vows at the Harare Magistrates’ Court as the proposed new marriage certificates were not yet available.

Harare provincial magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi became the bearer of bad tidings when he told the couples aspiring to solemnise their marriages that the new government marriage certificates would only be available from next week on Tuesday.

“We are sorry to inform you that today we are not going to solemnise weddings because of the changes effected by the Registrar-General on marriage certificates and new requirements on the bookings of court weddings,” he said.

He, however, assured the couples that all would be in order, come Tuesday.

“What I can say is that we will be ready from Tuesday onwards and those who need the marriage certificate urgently will be given first preference by assigning a magistrate to solemnise weddings the whole day,” he said.

Visibly dejected couples carrying cakes, flowers and accompanied by witnesses said they were disappointed by the move as they had made arrangements and plans for this day.

“We took this wedding seriously and have spent months preparing for such an occasion only to be told that there are some changes and we cannot marry anymore till things are sorted out,”
complained Tatenda Chigovero from Chitungwiza.
The Registrar-General’s Office last week unveiled a new highly-securitised marriage certificate and other measures to curb marriages of convenience between Zimbabweans and foreigners that were on the rise.

Government last week said old marriage certificates would remain valid while marriage officers have been given a month to surrender old certificates they have not yet issued out.

The introduction of the new marriage certificate is aimed at flushing out foreigners and Zimbabweans who have been abusing the country’s marriage laws.

The new-look certificate will be computerised and serialised to curb multiple marriages, marriages of convenience and immigration fraud

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