ConCourt: Child brides on broken dreams

via ConCourt: Child brides on broken dreams – NewZimbabwe 24/01/2016

WHEN the Constitutional Court last week banned under 18 marriages, the ruling was hailed all over the world as a positive development and a land mark judgment in Zimbabwe’s legal history.

Following the ruling, various NGOS are reportedly stepping up efforts to educate ordinary people on the meaning of the ConCourt decision. And yet Loveness Mudzuru (now 20) and Ruvimbo Tsopodzwa (now 19)-the two courageous women who brought the plight of girls before the courts may remain poor and obscure.

The two were married when they were just 16 and there are chances that last week’s ruling may not change their individual circumstances nor rebuild their past. tracked the two women to Glen View high density suburb in Harare where they lead ordinary lives in direct contrast to the media fame the two now have following last week’s court ruling.

“Yes, I am aware of the court ruling and I am happy that our efforts have brought a positive change for Zimbabwean children,” said Loveness.

“But now that the court case is over what is there for me? I passed four ordinary level subjects and I wish I could supplement and go as far as University and obtain a law degree.”

Now a mother of two, Loveness currently stays with her husband and her mother- in- law. The mother –in –law, a nurse at a local hospital, is the breadwinner.

Ruvimbo’s case is not any better either. “My wish is that any organisation or whomever would sponsor me to go back to school so that I sit my ordinary levels. I want to purse my passion of helping people; I wish to train as a nurse but that dream can only be fulfilled if I go back to school,” she said.

Real Open Opportunities for Transformation Support (ROOTS) Beatrice Savadye said the two child brides still had a chance to pursue their dreams, adding the pair only needed to be supported.

“We call upon well-wishers who would like to support these courageous young women to come forward. They need to be given a second chance. Others can chip in by providing them with some projects that enable them to contribute to their livelihood,” she said.

ROOTS supported the two women during their court case.

Tendai Biti, the renowned lawyer who represented the child brides in the landmark case, said indebtedness must be expressed to the Constitutional Court for the judgment which he said was phenomenal.

Child marriages are rife across Zimbabwe.

The 2014 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey Report states that of people aged between 20 and 49 years, one of the three women was married or got in a union before the age of 18.