High-level symposium to finetune stakeholders’ views on new Marriage Legislation

As Tanzania Commemorates 59 years of Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar today, the Ministry of Constitution and Legal Affairs is convening a high-level stakeholders symposium to discuss and assess views of stakeholders on the Marriage law, before tabling of the new Bill in the ongoing parliamentary session, parliament was informed here on Tuesday.

Already, the government has completed an exercise to collect views on the new marriage legislation which is due for tabling for the first reading in the august House.

Deputy Minister in the ministry, Pauline Gekul said the symposium is expected to take place  in as she invited MPs and all stakeholders from all walks of life to participate at the last forum to air their recommendations on how the new marriage law should look like, in joint efforts to reduce bottlenecks in the current law which has elicited several criticisms from a section of stakeholders.

Ms Gekul was responding to a question asked by Special Seats lawmaker, Yustina Rahhi (CCM) who had sought to know when the government would table a Bill to amend the Marriage Act, 1971 regarding child marriage.

According to the deputy minister, the new Bill was presented before the Parliamentary Standing Committee in February 2021, following the verdict by court of appeal on the case between Attorney General Versus Rebecca Gyumi which ruled that the Marriage Act 1971, be amended to allow girls to be married after attaining 18 years of age.

“After going through the Bill, the committee decided that it be taken back to stakeholders in order to receive more views,’’ said Ms Gekul.

According to the deputy minister, the government in collaboration with different stakeholders has already collected enough views from all stakeholders including religious leaders, traditional chiefs, political party leaders, students, health experts as different groups of citizens including persons with disabilities.

It is in this regard, she maintained, that the ministry of  constitution and legal affairs decided to bring together all stakeholders at a high-level symposium in the country’s capital to assess all views that were presented and give final recommendations.

“Immediately after completing this crucial final exercise, the government is expected to table the Marriage Act (Amendment) Bill in the ongoing parliamentary budget session,’’ said the deputy minister.

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