Sex so important to marriage: Malawi clergy speak on impotence provision

Marriage is more than sex just as singing is more than making noise but you can’t sing if you can’t make noise and you can’t be married if you can’t have sex.  Malawi religious leaders have backed the legal provision of the Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Bill which provides grounds for annulling a marriage, if one partner is impotent.

marriage, by its very nature, requires the possibility of sexual intercourse.

Marriage, by its very nature, requires the possibility of sexual intercourse.

Impotence refers to the inability to have sexual intercourse while infertility or sterility refers to the inability to procreate. For example, a healthy woman who has a hysterectomy is infertile but not impotent. In contrast, a woman who has a vagina that cannot accommodate the male member is impotent but she may still be able to become pregnant through illicit means like artificial insemination or IVF. This means she is not infertile even though she is impotent.

The religious leaders have backed the provision which stipulated that marriage can be annulled on the grounds of impotence.

They argue that marriage has to be free, it also has to be a full and total gift of self, which includes the bodily gift of self through intercourse.

“If one is impotent, marriage cannot be there. If that impotence is by nature, that person cannot be allowed to enter into marriage,” said Father Emmanuel Chimombo, who is acting publicity secretary of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), as quoted by The Nation.

Commenting in his personal capacity but of course advancing the stand of Catholic church, Chimombo said the Catholic Church considers marriage as a Sacrament that has a number of effects.

The Catholic Church says a cohabiting situation would be a near-occasion of sin for a couple that is striving to lead a non-sexual relationship because one partner is impotent, which includes abstinence from all forms of sexual arousal.

While critics say impotent couple can licitly engage in sexual activity they are physically able to enjoy such as passionate kissing, fondling, mutual masturbation and oral stimulation, the church feels   a married couple that engages in arousing activities must complete the act through intercourse or they will have sinned.

Reducing sex to only oral stimulation and mutual masturbation is like reducing eating to only chewing and tasting food without digesting it. It distorts the purpose of these acts and takes them out of their proper orientation towards being a total gift of self through life-giving love

But CCAP Livingstonia Synod’s general secretary the Reverend Levi Nyondo said marriage is not only about bearing children through sexual intercourse.

“As Christians, we draw our lessons from the Bible. Look at the story of Abraham and Sarah; they had a child after living together for 100 years without one.

“There are couples that have been blessed with a child after staying together for more than five years, and what if they had taken action within two years of their marriage to divorce? How many divorces were we going to witness? Who defines permanent impotent, anyway?”

The new bill, in Section 77 (1), states that the grounds for nullification of a marriage may be “that the respondent [the one sued] was permanently impotent at the time of marriage” or “that the respondent was at the time of the marriage suffering from a sexually transmitted infection”.

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55 thoughts on “Sex so important to marriage: Malawi clergy speak on impotence provision”

  1. vyaboza says:

    A chimombo akunama iwowo kuti abadwee mesa panali chikondi chomwe mayi awo anawonesa kwa abambo awo.Kugwa mu love iz about sex

  2. Ellias makandanje says:

    No sex before marriage, how will the other partner know whether she or he is permanently impotent?

  3. Dear people!The bible is not exhaustive on this one.But rather it is simply a guide to a rightful and successful marriage.And remember there are many more non-christians out there living a better and successful family life than christians themselves.The origins and objectives of marriage need simply to be human,honest,faithful and rightly purposeful; not just for sexual relief,lust or merely as a population control measure.That’s why consumational rite on the night after blessing the marriage is vitally important to precautionary check if the just married couple are indeed capable of performing and enjoying a sexual activity then and thereafter.Marriage therefore should never lightly be paralleled to any inhuman(e) cohabitation or homosexual act where infertile,impotent or mere friends with or without some sexual phobias or abnormalities decide to live together as a family for every reasons except for procreation.Apparently Abraham and his wife Sara were neither infertile nor impotent cohabitants because they eventually gave birth to their only son Isaac.Ofcourse we all know that Ishmail from which Islam descended was illegitimate(a bastard).

  4. May I ask traditional,religious,civil and the intellectuals to properly re-define marriage for our parliamentarians as Malawi, disgustingly, continue to westernise;legalizing sodomy(mathanyula) christened “gay marriage” and very soon beastiality(kugona chiweto eg mbuzi or galu) also christened “interspecies love” by the west.

  5. Wagwa nayo says:

    Kkkkkkk kwavutatu ku Malawi kkkkkkkkkk Congrates Rev osati zomafotokoza asakudziwa kawonedwe ka nsalu kkkk

  6. Tongozala says:

    Father Chimombo ndimayesa ndi sakwata. Ndiye akugunduka kunamiza anthu za marriege ngati iyeyo akuzidziwa. Ngakhale akulu amati kuwona fisi sikubadwa kale, komabe iyeyo ali sakwata angawuze mtundu wa a Malawi za mbanja? Marriege is not zowerenga ma bukhu ai. I stand to be corrected, mamaka a Katolika

  7. One Loves says:

    Sono the lady in picture nyere nde yafika pa 99% ready to be fucked!



  9. Mr @sms says:

    Coment loading…………….

  10. Zanga Phee! says:

    It clear shows that on that Calender that Themba was crying for had that picture of couple on top of the this story.How big is this issue is in the country so that it can be referred as a problem statistically.We need sensitive issue in the august House Please.See my name.

  11. Tiko says:

    Law yolemba Saudi White mungayembekezere chiyani chabwino.
    1. Why should a lady maintain ex husband name? Let alone why should wife ‘choose’ to use or not to use her husband name?
    2. Why should marriage be declared null after? How will one know is importent or infertile? Should they do trials first? Outside marriage?
    3. Why shld a friend have a right to somebody’s property? Just becoz u have been friends for 5 yrs and longer? Are encouraging kuba chuma chaena ppgwiritsa ntchito kumatako? And not working?

  12. gaba says:

    i think this law was drafted by idiots and those passing it were busy receiving carendars while at the same time beating parliament staff.shame!

    1. Magolizoo says:

      Koma iwee nde wandipatsa phwete2

  13. Jombo says:

    Tamakwatilani that way life-long bachelors like myself can slay your wives while you are out getting drunk with your idiot friends.

  14. Bongololo says:

    What about divorcing simply because you no longer want to be together? Why is government trying to tell the consenting adults of this nation how and when they should marry or stay married? This is unnecessary intrusion. Seriously, aren’t there better things that could be done with the time and resources being spent on this stupid bill?

  15. Patriot says:

    Zizindikiro za kudza kwa Yesu ndi zimenezo

  16. sibo says:

    What a father in the catholic church tell us,they are not allowed to marry therefore he has no knowledge marriage.instead of telling what the bible say about divorce they are telling other things

  17. ine says:

    What does the holy bible say about divorce……. what about those STIs that are commonly suffered by women like vaginal candidiasis zomwe zimangoyambika zokha…… wonder ma MP a JCE sangatiuze za nzeru

  18. Chinyoli says:

    Why not infertility as wel coz I dont see the essence of excluding impotency only? Why only impotency?? Secondly, who will assess the status? What if two impotent pipo want to marry? Discrimination at its best.

  19. Chinyoli says:

    Why not infertility as wel coz I dont see the essence of excluding impotency only? Secondly, who will assess the status?

  20. Mmodziyekha says:

    Dont paint awrong picture here,may God help us all!

  21. Modziyenkha says:

    Dont paint awrong picture here.may God help us.

  22. Mwanga1 says:

    Father Chimombo do not mislead people. The bible is very clear on the reasons for divorce. Jesus addressed this issue in Matthew 19 from verse 1. You can also read in Malachi 2 from verse 13 to 17. It saddens me when religous leaders try act strangely. You have stopped to be the light and salt of this World. No wonder your organisation is labelled Satanic! Shame on you!

  23. Tchende mbeu says:

    Kulasana ndi Kulasana basi

  24. Malindima says:

    I tend to agree with Father Chimombo.Adhering to strict biblical requirements of having sex after marriage, you can not know that your partner is impotent until after getting married. Surely you can’t stay in marriage not sealed by sexual intercourse. Justifiably you can divorce.
    If there is no impotence in either of you but you do not have children then there is no good reason to have a divorce. The story of Abraham is put by Rev Nyondo has a good lesson for us to learn but perhaps also not a good example as Sarah influenced her husband to sleep with Hagar who bore him Ishmael.
    This can not be applied today as it will constitute to adultery. However with modern technology, it is possible to bear children not through sexual intercourse.

  25. Nyakulama says:

    Chimombo is saying the truth. There cannot be marriage without kuchindana, child bearing is another issue. It doesnt mean that all 99yrs Abraham was just staying, no. Pamene pagona banja ndiye kuchindanako. Ngati kugonana wina is not satisfied pamakhala mavuto ambiri a m’mbanja.Rev. Nyondo, let your wife deny you for at least a year tione ngati sitimva zina. dont be too spiritual. izi zilibe ubusa izi. ukwati nkhani yake ndi kugonana osati ana kapena chuma what and what, no.

  26. Opale says:

    Tamva nao

  27. hmmm` says:

    Mmene watikhodzokera umphawimu, basi nkhani ikhale yoswa mabumbu basi? Sitingamaganize njira zopezera makobiri koma zosakaza zinena za azimayi, ndi ma Father omwe? Anazidziwa kuti zokwata akazi? Nkhani ikhale yotota basi mmene kwachera muja? Olo mutati musakambe anthu achindanabe basi, oti monse ndayambira kulemba muja nyini zingapo zachindidwa kale, ndikamamaliza kulemba abambo ochuluka akhala atathila umuna, kayekaye usiku uno, kukhala kuchindana zodetsa nkhawa zija, azimayi ndi atsikana kulilira ndikunyekulira. Tiyeni tisiye nkhani zopanda pakezi tiyambe kutulula dziko lathu. Anthu sadzasiya kuchindana olo muyike lamulo lokhwima. Zikomo

  28. Fumbani Mhonie says:

    Shaaa what is my sister doing. Moving from Mzimba to Blantyre only to practise prostitution. Alongosi, why?

  29. CHISWA B. UMBU says:


  30. Dan says:

    Catholics think before you agree to such conditions as those in the Bill. It is wrong and ill conceived

  31. musisipala says:

    No sex no marriage

  32. Unconcerned says:

    Abusa amenewo malo monena za Bible verses ali pa Constitution kugwira ntchito ndi dziko (satana) hee chifukwa choti ndiwodziwidwa bwino ndi anthu Mulungu akukuonanitu.

  33. ujeni says:

    Big up to Livingstonia Synod for bringing clarity on this bill unless the catholic father what is he on about?

  34. ujeni says:

    Some of the bill our Paliarment waste time on is a sure sign of Conditions of a failed state

  35. EVERGREEN says:

    kuwononga nthawi ndizachibwana.

  36. foolish! mabulutu awa.

  37. zte says:

    koma father you are talking shit hea…..whch bible do u read??? demeti

  38. Mwama Du says:

    Koma yaaaa!

  39. Magzig says:

    Marriage can b there even if sex does not exist what about to old people how do they stay in marriage without sex?

  40. Cashgate 1 says:

    Nzeru za umunthu ndizo zachuluka apa. We don’t understand God’s wisdom anyway. Where is our love gone?

  41. mboma says:

    The poorest country in the world has valid issues to sort out so that it chnage its economic status than wasting time with this trash, r we so dull that way that we cant do somethings better than talking zochindana anthu akuluakulu?????? what a country??? what we know is about that this and not how we can develop a country, we have no idea, i support what nyondo has said, they reflect biblical stance and not what chimombo is saying, that is trash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. Tichitileni chifundo Atate tikupitilila kukanika kutanthauzila zinthu zakuoneka ndi maso athu. Ka uzileni mpweya wanu kuti amaudindo azimenezi asamaka yankhule mfundo zamisala pankhaniyi.AMENI

  43. Ken Malinda says:

    What if they choose to adopt a child? This law is useless

  44. Joe wa Kalunji says:

    Did those so-called honourable members really understand these details and implications when they were passing the Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Bill or did they do it at the behest of the gender pressure groups? I fear this law will not stand the test of time. It is so flawed and we wont be surprised if one day it is cited as one example of bad laws that may require legal emasculation.

  45. Big Man wankulu says:

    My fellow Malawians. When this bill was in draft form, the media, Parliamentarians and the general public were not interested in debating it. We were TOO BUSY WITH ELECTION POLITICS, HOW DPP STOLE IT, AND CASHGATE issues basi. Let us learn to take interest on issues that affect our daily lives as well. small brains.

  46. mapwiya says:

    Ku paliarment kumangokambilanako za kumpheto basi.

  47. Penjani says:

    Koma a Nyondo with due respect on top alemba kuti impotent not infertile ndipo alongosola bho bho!

  48. Mbolo Sidwala! says:

    Koma zinazi, a fazala amenewo. Munaimvera kuti nyini kukoma ngati mumakwatira? Bwino nazotu izi. If anythng priests should be the last people to comment on matters of sex and intercourse because they do not experience it. Uphungu mumautenga kuti ngati ndinu okwatira? Kapena titi muma… ndi ma sisitere?

    1. Chemtukanika says:

      Ifetu tinangolumbira kuti sitidzakwatira koma osati sitidzachita ayi.Nafe timasewera moti tili nawo athuathu ana mmidzimu.

  49. Zikomo says:

    The Bible gives the following as reasons for divorce: death and/or promiscuity, even on promiscuity, IT says the offended partner can forgive the other. This piece of legislation is non-Biblical just as our country is non-religious but secular.

  50. ADE says:

    Nanga opunduka aziloledwa kukwatila? osawona aziloledwa kugwira ntchito? opanda manja, maso, makuti etc should they be allowed to do all other things.

  51. Achimidzimidzi says:

    Reverend Levi Nyondo and Livingstonia are right. Nkhoma Synod kusadziwa mau a Mulungu. Ngati mulibe scriptural references musamayankha nkhani zaeni.

    Kumwambatu kulibe ma ukwati.

    1. Dr Mwaliwa says:

      Pali WA Nkhoma Synod pamene po. You are a CHINDERE

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