AU Special Rapporteur on ending child marriage in the country

By Margaret Matibiri

THE African Union Special Rapporteur on ending child marriage and other harmful practices, Honourable Hermaine Kembo paid a courtesy visit to the minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Dr Sithembiso Nyoni in the capital this Tuesday.

The delegation is in the country on fact-finding joint missions which seek to track and report on Zimbabwe’s implementation progress on the Ending Child Marriage Campaign.

“Our visit stands within the context of ending Child marriages and we will be having country visits to at least 12 countries, Zimbabwe is the first country we are visiting,” said Honourable Kembo.

“After our visit, we will be able to have an overview of the country from the government and its partners towards fighting the scourge of child marriages and at that point, we will be able to give our preliminary remarks on what we have seen.”

Zimbabwean-born, Dr Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda who is the African Union Goodwill Ambassador on Ending Child Marriage and is part of the delegation commended the government for its marriage Act.

“I would like to congratulate you honourable minister for the passage of the Marriage Act which now criminalises child marriage,” said Dr Gumbonzvanda.

Zimbabwe is the first country to be visited among 12 countries.

After the mission, a report detailing the country’s progress updates on the Ending Child Marriage Campaign will be compiled with recommendations by the Special Rapporteur and commitments made and actions to be undertaken. This will guide the AU and partner-led support to fill the country’s identified gaps.