Judicial Service Commission announces new re-marriage regulations Mr Daniel Nemukuyu

Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, [email protected]

WIDOWED members of the public intending to remarry local citizens or foreigners will now be required to produce a certificate of consent from the Master of the High Court as part of measures aimed at protecting the rights of children in relation to the deceased estates.

According to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on top of the requirements is an applicable statutory fee for revenue stamping, currently pegged at US$25 or equivalent in ZiG terms. 

A National ID or passport, original and one photocopy of each, passport size photographs on colour — two each, with formal dressing (jacket and tie for men) remain basics for marriage registration.

Part of the requirements also, if either party has a minor child or children, a Master of the High Court’s Certificate, should be produced before a marriage can be registered. 

If widowed, a certified copy of the Death Certificate and a Master’s Certificate is required from the one requiring to remarry.

JSC spokesperson Mr Daniel Nemukuyu said where applicable, a certified copy of a divorce decree from the High Court divorce decree, a certified copy from the High Court, were mandatory. 

“The seemingly new requirements may arise in two situations; where a widow or widower intends to remarry who must have been in a registered marriage terminated by death or where a formal divorcee intends to remarry,” he said. 

“Upon death of a person, and at the winding up of his estate, if the deceased was married and had minor children, it is a requirement that the estate pays to the Master of High Court, into the Guardian Fund, a levy which was expected to cater for the deceased’s children in the event of need in respect of basic needs,” said Mr Nemukuyu. 

“This is by virtue of the High Court being the upper guardian of all minors. So, upon remarriage, the Master of High Court is entitled to be advised so that if, in his/her opinion, such marriage is also in the interests of the minor children s/he would issue the certificate or consent.”

He said if the surviving spouse in the case of widow or widower, intends to remarry, he or she must prove that the initial marriage was terminated by death, hence the requirement of a death certificate as well. 

“This is a facility to enable the registration of the later marriage without the conflict with the earlier one. This also applies to divorcees whose earlier marriage had minor children. The decree of divorce would also enable the smooth registration of the new marriage.”

Mr Nemukuyu said for foreigners, a copy of non-marriage certificate from the country of origin confirmed by the local embassy and duly authenticated by that country of origin’s Ministry of Home Affairs or relevant ministry is required. 

“Foreigners also need clearance from the Zimbabwe Republic Police Criminal Investigation Department and that from the Immigration Department of Zimbabwe. Locals who want to marry foreigners are required to obtain a certificate of non-marriage from the Registrar General’s office.”

Commenting, local legal practitioner Mr Shepherd Chingarande from Sansole and Senda Law Firm said these requirements relating to widows or widowers were somewhat unknown to members of the public. 

He said the new requirements will go a long way in protecting children’s property from deceased estates. 

“I think the most interesting requirement is that which speaks to members of the public applying for a certificate to remarry from the Master of the High Court if one is widowed. 

“This will go a long way in ensuring that would-be spouses do not benefit from deceased estates and that children from a previous marriage are not short-changed when the surviving spouse decided to remarry,” said Mr Chingarande. 

“We need those who want to remarry to start on a clean slate and not take with him or her property that belongs to children sired during the course of a previous marriage.” 


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