HARARE: The new Marriages Bill which has been approved by cabinet formally recognises civil partnerships (umasihlalisane/kuchaya mapoto) as legal marriage.

An analysis of the Bill reveals that the law deems two people who are over 18 who have lived together but are not legally married as formal union.

Partnerships where parties have been together for a while will be interpreted by courts as marriages if the other party seeks  fair distribution of wealth upon separation.