Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi says he will not take responsibility for delaying the Marriages Bill after being frustrated by chiefs in the Senate.

Chiefs in the Senate rejected the minister’s proposal to pass the Bill and then make the necessary arrangements through the Traditional Leaders Act.

However, the chiefs would not budge insisting that they will only deal with the Bill after their consultations.

This did not please the minister who complained that consultations were taking forever to be concluded.

‘’These meetings with these lawyers have been happening for a long time and they have not been resolving some of these issues.

“It will continue to be a cycle. I think we need to also appear to be serious in dealing with this issue. It is now an embarrassment, to be honest.

‘’While I hear you, that is why I had said openly that we can shelf it for now because I do not want to rush you and then we do not do a proper job and you said you do not want to.

“We are now delaying everything else that is good in this Bill because of an issue that I agreed that let us put the lobola thing in there. ‘

‘’I even offered to say okay, bring whoever you want and I will identify officers and say sit there and agree on the amendment and we do it.

“I think we must work within timelines and not have something on the Order Paper for almost eternity and then we tell ourselves that we are unprepared.

‘’Let us come up with a work plan because the Tuesday that they are talking about, it is also technically going to be very difficult.

“I do not know which Law Officer they spoke to. Certainly, that correspondence never came through me; I am unaware of that meeting.

‘’What I know is Trade Fair is starting next week. The majority of our officers will also go to Trade Fair. We have a Chief Justice Conference in Victoria Falls.

Honourable Chairperson, we may adjourn but I want it to be put on record that the delays in the Marriages Bill was not because of me but it is Senators who failed to engage their lawyers or whoever they want so that they come to me and we finalise.

‘’If we put that on record, it becomes very clear that the delay is with the Senators and we were ready to move. Even to compromise, then we will wait for them to complete at their own pace. I so submit Honourable Chair,’’ he said.