Constitutional Court comes to aid of women in polygamous marriages
The Constitutional Court has confirmed that a law that governs matrimonial property in customary marriages‚ which discriminates against certain categories of women‚ is unconstitutional. Section 7(1) of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act (RCMA) of 1998 provides that wives who entered into customary marriages before the act was passed do not have marital property rights. In this case, Musenwa Netshituka‚ who died in 2008‚ had entered into polygamous customary marriages with three women and two civil marriages with two other women. One of the civil marriages‚ to Martha Netshituka‚ was terminated by divorce in 1984 while another civil marriage to Munyadziwa Netshituka in 1997 was declared null and void by the Supreme Court of Appeal in 2011. Munyadziwa Netshituka claims she later concluded a customary marriage with Musenwa Netshituka. The deceased left a will in terms of which Munyadziwa Netshituka‚ whom the will referred to as a wife married in community of property‚ was named ...
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