Chiefs welcome proposal to solemnise civil unions

By Tapiwa Machemedze

The Chiefs Council has welcomed the proposed inclusion of Chiefs as marriage officers under the Marriages Amendment Bill saying it will strengthen the upholding of local customs and traditions.

Gracious Mukanwa was installed as the substantive 15th Chief Bushu at a colourful ceremony held in Shamva this Monday.

Officiating at the event, President of the Chiefs Council, Chief Fortune Charumbira took the opportunity to announce that Chiefs will soon become marriage officers in a development expected to strengthen the upholding of local customs such as payment of dowry.

“In the next few months there is a new law saying Chiefs will be able to solemnize marriages. Some will get weddings through their Chiefs, In Parliament the Law sailed through and awaits Presidential ascent. These are civil marriages and they are equal to those you get from magistrates or at church.  But I want to make it clear that there were lies circulating in the last few months that when you marry payment of a dowry is no longer required. It came out in social media and those are lies. The institution of Chiefs as marriages officers consolidates our culture when marrying,” said the Chief.

Deputy Minister of Local Government and Public Works Honourable Marian Chombo stressed the need for communities to work hand in glove with traditional leaders.

“I urge all people in the Chief Bushu area to live in harmony and help their neighbours. As government we urge peaceful co-existence between the Chief and his people so that there is development,” said Hon Chombo.

Chief Bushu promised to continue with the work he has been doing to curb child sexual exploitation in Shamva.

“I want to thank today’s event that saw me being officially installed as Chief. Today’s event has strengthened me as I have a desire to put an end to early marriage, I want to see kids completing school. We set by laws in our area of Bushu,” he said.

Chief Bushu is of the Tembo Mubaiwa totem.

The first Chief Bushu was named Gutsambwa and the Chieftaincy rotates between two families namely Kapepera and Nyakudepura.

Gracious Mukanwa of the Kapepera family succeeds Show Bushu who died in 2016 and came from the Nyakudepura clan.