Where to Zimbabwe? Another stage set for flawed elections under Mnangagwa’s leadershipPosted: 3 April, 2023 Filed under: Nqobani Nyathi | Tags: accountability, African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, amendment of the Constitution, by-elections, constitution, Constitution of Zimbabwe, democracy, electoral disputes, Emmerson Mnangagwa, free and fair elections, government-affiliated media, Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections in Africa, human rights, Luke Malaba, peaceful resolution, Private Voluntary Organisations Bill, PVO Bill, rise to power, unlawful killings, violence, ZEC, Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission 1 Comment
Author: Nqobani Nyathi
Doctoral Candidate and Project Officer, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
In 2018, and perhaps at the peak of his popularity, Emmerson Mnangagwa narrowly won a disputed Presidential election in Zimbabwe. In the aftermath, chaos ensued, and soldiers shot and killed people. No one has been held accountable so far, perpetuating an environment of impunity and fear. Mnangagwa’s unconstitutional rise to power the previous year had subverted democracy and as predicted, he has continuously demonstrated an unsettling disregard for the Constitution and the principles of democracy. Zimbabwe’s next general election is scheduled for some time this year, on a date yet to be announced. If Mnangagwa persists on his current path of undermining the Constitution, the election could lack the legitimacy necessary for a functioning democracy.
Child marriages in Zimbabwe and the failure by the State to fulfil its obligations to protect the rights of childrenPosted: 26 August, 2021 Filed under: Nqobani Nyathi | Tags: ACERWC, Africa, African Commission, child marriage, child marriages, children's rights, Committee of Experts on the Rights of the Child, constitution, Constitution of Zimbabwe, discrimination, gender inequality, girl child, human rights, Maputo Protocol, Marriage Act, Marriages Bill, provisions, religion, religious justification, religious sects, reproductive health, rights of children, rule of law, sexual rights, SRHR, women's rights, Zimbabwe Leave a comment
Author: Nqobani Nyathi
Researcher, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
Recently, there have been reports about a 14-year old child who died during childbirth. The reason why such a tragedy happened and may continue to happen is the State’s failure or unwillingness to eradicate child marriages. This article seeks to outline Zimbabwe’s legislative framework regarding child marriages and its obligations in terms of international law.
The legal position
Child marriage is illegal in Zimbabwe as held by Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court. In January 2016, the apex court rightly found that the legislative provisions legalising child marriages were inconsistent with the Constitution of Zimbabwe. The Constitution has fairly strong provisions promoting and protecting the rights of children, including the right to be protected from sexual exploitation or any form of abuse. The Court also observed that historically there has been a “lack of common social consciousness on the problems of girls who became victims of early marriages.”
The fact that child marriages had to be declared illegal through litigation exposes this lack of common social consciousness. Zimbabwe had been clinging to the archaic law legalising the marriage of children in terms of both the Marriage Act 81 of 1964 and the Customary Marriages Act 23 of 1950.