ConCourt earns award for outlawing child marriages


The Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe (ConCourt) is tomorrow set to receive a gold certificate award, from the Women’s Comfort Corner Foundation (WCCF), in conjunction with the International Alliance of Women (IAW), for last year’s landmark ruling in which it outlawed child marriages and struck off from the statutes section 22(1) of the Marriage Act.


The ceremony will be held at Meikles Hotel, where lawyer and former Finance minister Tendai Biti, is also set to be recognised for his efforts in successfully presenting the matter before the court, leading to the landmark ruling.

In its judgment, in January last year, the full ConCourt bench ruled section 22(1) of the Marriage Act was inconsistent with section 78(1) of the Constitution, which sets 18 years, as the minimum age of marriage in Zimbabwe and as such should be outlawed.

“On October 10, 2017 a gold certificate will be awarded to the Constitutional Court for the landmark judgment in the case of Loveness Mudzuru and Ruvimbo Tsopodzi versus the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs ministry and to Tendai Biti,” WCCF director, Rita Marque-Mbatha said in a Press release issued at the weekend.

Marque-Mbatha said the event will be graced by former judge of the Switzerland Appellate Court of Appenzell Rh, Justice Jessika Kehl-Lauff, who will present the award and a local ConCourt judge, Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza.

“The message will be centred on the subject that the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) strives to deliver world class justice and someone of Justice Gwaunza’s stature in the community will lend the appropriate importance to this event,” she said.

“We have invited Jessika Kehl-Lauff to speak and present the award at the launch. Kehl-Lauff was president of the Swiss Association for the Rights of Women, president of the Appenzell Red Cross, judge of the Appellate Court of Appenzell Rh. Ext and a Member of the Municipal Council in Grub AR.”

Marque-Mbatha further said WCCF is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights of all women and children in the country and one of its objectives is to provide psychosocial support to the victims of sexual and gender based violence.