Zimbabwe has unveiled a new marriage certificate to curb fraud by foreigners, multiple unions and marriages of convenience.
Addressing marriage officers Tuesday in Harare, Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede said a highly-securitized certificate with finger prints, photos of the couple and full details of witnesses, comes into force with immediate effect.
He said Zimbabwe is the first country in the world to fight marriages of convenience in such a way, adding that the measures were necessitated by the many cases of foreigners luring Zimbabwean women with money to secure permanent residency or citizenship.
The new law also targets marriage officers who conduct these increasingly bogus ceremonies.
Church minister and marriage officer Bishop Levy Kadenge, who attended the launch of the new marriage certificates, told VOA’s Violet Gonda the move is welcome.
But he warns the process will now be cumbersome for marriage officers.
“We were told that some foreigners who come and marry our daughters here and then get resident status and then they go back to their own original countries and then they bring their real wives once their papers in Zimbabwe are done,” said Kadenge.
He says more work will now be required of marriage officers.
“You now have to take fingerprints of those who are going to be married. So I am going to learn how to do it,” said Kadenge.
“Those who are wedding bring two passport size photographs and you also need your own date stamp as a marriage officer. Some of them did not have these in the past."