Inkosi Gomani V of the Maseko Ngoni wedded his long-time fiancee Rishaladza Mathebula from South Africa on Saturday buy legal minds say the Blantyre Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) on Sunday gave the royal couple a fake marriage certificate.
Officiation of the marriage at Ntcheu CCAP church, which was led by Blantyre Synod moderator Rev Masauko Mbolembole, involved several CCAP clergy from far and wide.
Writing on his Facebook wall, lawyer Ralph Kasambara says the current legislation regulating all marriages of civil, customary, religious, permanent cohabitation and repute and foreign is the marriage, divorce and family relations Act 2015 (MDFRA 2015).
He says since the coming into force of this Act, the old Marriages Act, African Marriages (Christian rites) registration Act, Asiatics marriages and Succession Act and Divorce Act were repealed, saying they became dead law and can no longer be applied.
“MDFRA has new prescribed forms of marriage certificate. The printed copies can be obtained from registrar general department, government printer, district commissioner office etc,” says Kasambara.
He adds: “What the Ntcheu CCAP has issued to Ngwenyama and his beloved new wife is a fake document. I am failing to come to terms with what this respectable institution has done. Or is it that the gods are angry with what is happening? Or is it an ill omen?”
Kasambara says marriage certificate is the best evidence of marriage ever having been celebrated.
“Courts or churches don’t accept fake documents when parties are disputing on a marriage having been celebrated,” he says.
He says under the new Act, parties contracting civil, customary and religious marriages re required to register their marriages.
Officiation of the marriage was followed by a colourful ceremony at Nkolimbo Village ground in the district.
Both the officiation and reception were attended by several prominent government officials and delegations from South Africa and neighbouring countries dominated by the Ngoni tribe.
Among high-profile figures who attended the ceremony were First Lady Gertrude Mutharika, Vice-President Everton Chimulirenji, former Vice Presidents Saulos Chilima and Khumbi Kachali, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) President Lazarus Chakwera and representatives of some development partners.
Gifts in cash and kind from all and sundry include a pledge of a honeymoon to Dubai courtesy of theVice-President.
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