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Come get married, couples who live together are told – News

The Uukwambi Traditional Authority urges heads of traditional authorities to refer unmarried couples, especially cohabiting couples, to the traditional court for marriage ceremonies to ensure inheritance rights.

This call came from Maria Angungu, representative of the legal committee of the Uukwambi Traditional Authority, when she spoke at a community meeting in Uukwangula, Oshana region, on Wednesday.

He said heads of traditional authorities will provide letters confirming the residence and relationship of the couples.

“We will only allow marriage to take place if the paternal relatives of the couples know about the relationship and if the couples have been living in the same house for a long time. We don’t want strangers,” she said.

Traditional authority offers an alternative to civil marriage for couples seeking official recognition of their unions.

A villager present at the meeting asked Angungu about polygamy in traditional courts. Uukwambi chief Ndilimani Iipumbu responded to this by saying that Namibian law only allows monogamous marriages.

He also explained the practical benefits of traditional marriages. “If a cohabiting couple suffers a death, the family of the deceased can leave the surviving spouse, especially if he or she is unemployed, destitute,” she said.

Oukwanyama Traditional Authority spokesperson Andrew Naikaku told The Namibian yesterday that in relation to inheritance, the traditional court provides a confirmation letter to the surviving spouse to take to the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF). , for example, for inheritance purposes.

He added that confirmation can only be issued after the traditional authority has carried out its due diligence. He also said the traditional court of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority does not perform marriages.

Ombadja Traditional Authority Chairman Kaleb Amwele yesterday said the Ombadja Traditional Authority does not perform customary marriages but it is in the process.

“The eight traditional authorities in the north are working on something that will allow them to perform customary marriages,” he said.

Manasse Mutivali, who was married in a traditional court in Omaruru in 2013, told The Namibian that in a traditional marriage a man is expected to pay money and a cow.

Mutivali said his payment included a cow and N$10,000.

He further said that traditional marriages have specific procedures for handling divorces.

“I like the way they handle divorces, where if the wife returns to her parents without a valid reason, they break up the marriage and pay you six head of cattle or the equivalent in money,” Mutivali said.

Former University of Namibia (Unam) law professor Fritz Nghiishililwa said yesterday that customary marriages are recognized in Namibia because customary laws operate in parallel with customary law, meaning that marriages, inheritance and the appointment of kings and queens.

“As long as said practice does not conflict with common law or the Constitution. The only customary practice that is not permitted by the government is the part that violates the Constitution, that violates the practice of common law or an act of parliament, but any other practice that does not violate the practice of law is applicable.” Nghiishililwa said.

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