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Marriage council suggests halt to marriage bills

2022-05-17  John Muyamba

Marriage council suggests halt to marriage bills

RUNDU – The Namibia Marriage Council has suggested that all pending bills on marriage be halted for now.

 It has thus called for a national consultative conference on marriages in Namibia to allow the nation to deliberate adequately on all issues concerning marriage.

“We want to call a national consultative conference on marriage, where all crucial stakeholders will come together and from the conference resolutions, our parliamentarians may be guided. All pending bills on marriage be put on hold until we have thoroughly made an inclusive consultation and make a lasting way forward on marriage in Namibia,” said Paulus Hawanga, the founder and executive of NAMC, a not-for-profit organisation.

Parliament is expected to deliberate on various bills around marriage and divorce, including the Divorce Bill; Marriage Bill; Uniform Matrimonial Property Regime Bill (Red Line Marriages Bill) and the Civil Registrations Bill during this parliamentary session. 

Hawanga called upon would-be couples and those already married to honour their parents and obtain their blessings in marriage. 

“If you are married and know that you disregarded your parents, do the right thing and humble yourself and seek parental blessings. This keeps marriages standing. Marriage without parents’ blessings is cursed, unfortunately,’’ he said during a press conference in Rundu recently.

“We share our views and express our concern and propose alternative solutions to the current uncertainty and lack of clarity on issues being debated about marriage in our country. You may agree with us that recently, we witnessed crucial debates on issues affecting marriage, namely divorce, abortion, same sex marriage, and inheritance that are seriously affecting spouses, among others.

“The recent skyrocketing divorce rate, as announced by legal officers dealing with divorce, is not surprising. The institution of marriage in our country is in ICU and if we are not handling it with the utmost and undivided attention it deserves, we should expect the worst as marriage is losing its relevance in our society,’’ he added.

NAMC was registered four years ago, to be the voice that strives to advocate, equip and advance the welfare of couples in marriage. 

“Our ultimate goal is to build a greater marriage in Namibia. Our organisation has been actively engaging in more activities that strive to enlighten couples on marriage, especially knowing that many couples marry with little pre-marriage training and counselling,’’ he noted. 

For the past years, NAMC has been conducting mentorship training targeting would be married couples and those already in marriage as well as availing counselling and coaching to would be married and those experiencing numerous challenges and differences in their relationships and marriage. 

Hawanga believes civil marriage is a foreign policy being imposed on Namibians. 

“It’s high time we adopt a Namibian portrait of marriage that honours our customary (traditional) way of life and more importantly that which honours and glorifies God. It’s the fact that our founding fathers considered civil marriage just to lay the foundation and it’s high time that after 32 years of our own independence we revisit policies that guide and protect the institution as well as our supreme law,” he said.

2022-05-17  John Muyamba

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