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Zimbabwe Newlyweds Discover Marriage Papers Invalid

Zimbabwe Newlyweds Discover Marriage Papers Invalid

Thousands of newlyweds in Zimbabwe have been surprised to learn that their marriage certificates are invalid. It has emerged that, because of a clerical issue, certificates issued within the last 18 months are void.

This is a discovery that could affect all those couples who got married within this period.

The matter came to light when the Zimbabwe Law Society issued an alert notice to lawyers across the country. It noted that stationery being used for civil marriage certificates continues to cite a chapter from an old marriage act, which was repealed in 2022.

The new act, which came into effect in September 2022, brought sweeping changes, including greater rights to partners in traditional marriages. It also criminalized child marriage.

The law society has advised those affected to take their certificates to a registrar, who will correct and stamp the document. The lawyers also warned if you have an invalid certificate, you cannot get divorced.

Several newlyweds who spoke to the BBC were previously unaware that their certificates might be invalid.

The mix-up elicited mirth on various instant messaging platforms. Some joked it was an opportunity for those looking for a way out of their marriage.

The Civil Registry Department told the state-owned paper The Chronicle that while it can amend existing certificates, it cannot print fresh stationery bearing the correct law without the government first announcing the change via a gazette.

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Meet William, a seasoned news editor with a five-year experience in the fast-paced world of journalism. William's passion for storytelling and commitment to accuracy have propelled him through various roles. As a news editor, his responsibilities extend beyond just overseeing the day-to-day operations of a news team. He plays a crucial role in shaping the editorial direction of his publication, ensuring stories are not only timely and relevant but also adhere to the highest journalistic standards. With a finger on the pulse of current events and a deep understanding of the ever-evolving media landscape, William is always ahead of the curve.
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