According to the new Marriages Act the payment of lobola is no longer mandatory.

This means men can now pay lobola only if they want to as a bride price is now a moral decision rather than a mandated legal necessity under the New Marriages Act.

This emerged during a recent interactive public legal awareness meeting aimed at delving into the main provisions of the recently enacted Act, in Masvingo Province.

Zimbabwe’s ushered in new marriage law also gives equal rights to “girlfriends” and women in registered unions upon the dissolution of a marriage or death of the husband.

The director of Law Development Commission Netsai Zvakatsikwa said although the government acknowledges the value of marriage, payment of lobola is now optional.

While the practice of lobola custom, cannot be found in any Zimbabwean statutes, it has been a way of life of those who practice it.

Hence it has been a customary law requirement. Customary law depends, among other things, on the existing custom of the society.