Consent and bride price as two elements that help in determining the validity of a customary marriage and custody of children amongf the bemba people of northern province of Zambia

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Chanda, Chilufya M.
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Customary law marriages are and have been a form of marriage recognized in Zambia side by side with the statutory marriage.1 Though both are acknowledged by the law one can either marry under the statute or under a particular custom. Where one opts to marry under customary law there are certain formalities which have to be done for this marriage to be valid. These include the obtaining of the consent of the parents of the girl, marriage payments and the giving away ceremony as well as consummation. Also important is the marital status of the parties especially that of the girl and prohibited degrees of marriage which entails a restriction of marriage between blood relatives or people of the same clan. It is therefore the purpose of this research to establish whether or not a marriage entered into under customary law without the consent of parents is valid and further whether custody of the children of the marriage depends on the consent of the parents and marriage payments (Bride price). Whether there is need to restate the law as regards what determines the validity of customary marriage and custody of children vis-a-vis the customary lineage system. The Research was in addition intended for policy makers, Lawyers, Administrators of Law, Student Academics, Local Court Justices and their personnel. 1 Sections 34 and 38 of the Marriage Act, Chapter 50 of the Laws of Zambia.
Bride price--bemba--Zambia , customary law--Zambia , Marriage law --Zambia