ROOTS Press Release: Zimbabwe Con Court bans child marriages

By: myadmin • January 20, 2016

The Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe on January 20, 2016 outlawed marriages or unions for anyone below the age of 18 years.

The groundbreaking ruling follows a case that was lodged on the 14th of January 2015 by ROOTS and Veritas seeking an order barring child marriages or unions of/ with children below the  age of 18.

ROOTS, together with Veritas supported two child brides Loveness Mudzuru and Ruvimbo Tsopodzi and through prominent lawyer Tendai Biti filed this application to ensure protection of children’s rights by challenging the Customary Law and Marriage Act which allow girls to be married before they reach the age of 18.

In handing down the judgement, the Constitutional Court ruled that with effect from the 20th of January 2016 it is illegal for any person whether a boy or a girl to enter into a marriage or any other union below the age of 18 years old.


The court also ruled that Section 22(1) of the Marriages Act (Chapter 5:11) is inconsistent with provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, which sets the minimum age of marriage at 18 years old.


ROOTS welcomes this judgement which comes as a milestone in the campaign to end child marriages and the protection of for the rights of  children, specifically young girls who remain the main victims of this scourge in society.


ROOTS hope that Parliament will speed up the alignment of the Marriages Act and the new Constitution which bars the marriage of persons under the age of 18 years.

ROOTS calls for stiffer jail term sentences to all the perpetrators.


ROOTS will continue to educate communities specifically those in mining areas, farming communities and other remote areas were child marriages have become entrenched on the need to protect the rights of all children.


ROOTS calls on all responsible authorities and all Zimbabweans to respect this decision so that the rights of all children are protected.

We wish to thank all the partners in particular Veritas, the legal team headed by MR Tendai Biti and the two child brides Loveness and Ruvimbo for the determination they showed during this battle.


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Ending Child Marriage in Zimbabwe

By: myadmin • September 2, 2015

ROOTS embarked on The Not Ripe for Marriage campaign to end child marriages in Zimbabwe in November 2014. The overall objectives of the campaign were to build a movement of people with increased awareness on child marriages and committed to end the practice, influence change in the policy environment and advocate for legislative review and realignment of the customary law and marriage act to be pegged at the same age as the Legal Age of Majority (18). Ultimately the campaign which had a lot of activities targeting the grassroots level sought to see community members displaying a change in existing attitudes, behaviours and norms around child marriage and have community members beginning to exhibit commitment to end child marriage in their communities. Download Campaign Report


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Engaging men to end child marriage

By: myadmin • August 31, 2015

ROOTS will be hosting men’s symposiums in Seke, Marange, Bindura and Bulawayo as part of its multi-pronged strategy to end child marriages in Zimbabwe.

We are engaging male counterparts in their different capacities as fathers, uncles, brothers and also perpetrators of sexual violence against girls. In most cases of child marriage occurrences; it is usually men who sanction such processes.


ROOTS embarked on the Not Ripe for Marriage Campaign in August 2014 and have to date gone to these communities conducting community dialogues, street bashes and media outreaches with chiefs, religious leaders, local authorities, young women and girls and community members.

The highlight of the campaign has come with the 2 campaign ambassadors Loveness Mudzuru and Ruvimbo Tsopodzi  who took the Government of Zimbabwe to the constitutional court challenging the customary law and marriage act to be ruled unconstitutional.
See list of upcoming events below

Event:  Men’s Symposium

Place: Seke Rural Home Based Care

Date: 27 February 2015

Time 1000hrs

Event:  Men’s Symposium

Place: Hama Maoko Primary School, Marange

Date: 27 February 2015

Time 1000hrs

Event:  Men’s Symposium

Place: Bindura Herman Gmenier High School

Date: 7 March 2015

Time 1000hrs

Event:   Street Bash and Men’s Symposium

Place: Bulawayo City Hall

Date: 13 March 2015

Time 1000hrs

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Lest we forget: DAC 2015

By: myadmin • August 31, 2015

Dialogue is essential in ending practices, norms and attitudes around child marriage. Today (16 June 2015), ROOTS team commemorated the Day of the African Child with more than 300 community members from David Small Farm, Shamva. We discussed practical solutions to end child marriage at the mining community. “We have the power to end child marriage, we need to value our girls and send them to school” said the community chairperson.

Fb_secondSeveral activities were conducted on the day, among them, traditional dances, poetry, and community dialogue sessions, all in the spirit appreciating the role played by the ‘African Child’. Key messages shared by community members were focused on the need to empower young girls through education and further training initiatives on their Sexual and Reproductive Health as a means to eradicate child marriage. However, the participation of males in these dialogue sessions was a reflection of the positive strides being made in ensuring that indeed child marriage is a factor that affects not only women in particular, but the entire community as a whole. This year’s commemorations were done under the theme “25 Years after the Adoption of the African Children’s Charter: Accelerating our Collective Efforts to End Child Marriage in Africa”


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Edu-tainment galore at Nyava Street Bash

By: myadmin • August 31, 2015

Danny recounts the ROOTS street bash at Nyava Growth Point …


By Danny Nyamushamba

Edu-tainment is an influential tool in various campaigns. On the 11th of July 2015 ROOTS held a street bash at Nyava Growth Point in Bindura. The main objective of the street bash was to educate the community on sexual and reproductive health.

Issues addressed at Nyava included the need:

To improve access and utilization of SRHR services (including contraception) by adolescents;
To empower communities and their supporting organizations to claim and exercise ownership of their SRH rights;
To exercise control over one’s own sexuality and the associated rights;
To ensure that everyone has the right to decide what do with their own bodies without coercion, violence or discrimination
To continuously discuss the implications of early and forced marriages.

In attendance were 346 people with key stakeholders such as Chief Mutasa, parents, teachers – and youth, in attendance. Councilors and village heads of wards 14,15 and 18 were also present. Various organizations and government departments came to support ROOTS street bash, and we thank representatives from the NAC, Hope Humana, New Start, ZRP and the Ministry of Youth Indigenization and Economic Empowerment for coming.

The street bash gave an opportunity to young people to access free HIV/AIDS testing and counseling courtesy of New Start Centre. Chief Musana led by example as he was tested, together with 40 other people. A representative from New Start Centre showed that HIV/AIDS prevalence in Zimbabwe is at 15%. He encouraged the participants to get tested regardless of whether they were married or not. He emphasized the World Health Organization 2015 theme: “Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths”. Furthermore he indicated that New Start Center seeks to improve access to prevention, treatment and care services for adolescents (10-19 years), a group that continues to be vulnerable despite efforts made thus far.

Councilor Mugabe of ward 14 acknowledged the good work done by ROOTS, as we target the young people who are future leaders and who are also the most vulnerable group to HIV/AIDS. He added that ROOTS should keep on engaging the community in its thematic areas. He encouraged the community to cease early and forced marriages saying that they amount to abuse and that girls need to be given the same opportunities to excel as boys.

Students from Nyava Primary School entertained attendees through traditional dance and poetry. There was a dancing and drama competition that took place and participants won hampers including hygiene products, soap, washing powder, face towels and rulers.

Meanwhile ROOTS our next stop was in Shamva where we held another street bash at More farm. Theret he main issue was early and forced marriages. More details to follow!

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