An Evaluation of the sanctity of Marriage Between Customary and Statutory Marriages Vis-A-Vis Divorce

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Katowa, Nchimunya
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The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the sanctity of marriage among the two forms of marriages in Zambia that being Customary marriage and statutory marriages. The paper is largely based on books and articles written by scholars in the field of marriage and divorce and flavored by the author's personal knowledge and experience. Throughout the paper an attempt has been made to compare the customary Law marriages with statutory marriages however the author has not attempted to pass any value judgments or record personal biases but the author has been able to come up with a concrete evaluation of the two forms of marriages thereby coming up with the conclusion that they should be place on the same footing after taking into consideration the given recommendations. It is therefore up to the reader to come up with his/her own judgments on the basis of the information presented. At the time of independence in 1964, Zambia inherited a dual legal system guided by statutory law and customary law. The exclusion of Africans from any part of the formal system was abolished in principle while the separation between English and customary Law systems was retained for administrative expediency and the need to preserve customary Law system. As such English Law is not just part of the legal system in Zambia but ironically a superior part of it. One of the important findings of this study is that despite customary Law facing a comparatively lower status relative of English Law, it enjoys a significant amount of influence over many Zambians in practice of paramount importance in this study is that most people contract customary law marriages and even those who prefer to marry under the Marriage Act almost always comply with customary requirements and practices.
Marriage Law--Zambia , Common law marriage--zambia , Divorce--Law and Legislation-Zambia