Top cleric blasts ‘promiscuous’ MPs for sponsoring ‘small house’ law

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By Idah Mhetu/Leopold Munhende

OUTSPOKEN Harare cleric, Bishop Ancelimo Magaya on Thursday slammed opposition MDC MPs for supporting a contentious clause in a proposed marriage law that would have recognised “small houses” as legal unions.

A small house is a colloquial term for extra-marital or unrecognised unions.

Magaya was preaching at an event to commemorate one year since soldiers opened fire during post-election protests in central Harare, killing six civilians and injuring more.

Thursday’s event was organised by Magaya’s Zimbabwe Devine Destiny (ZDD).

“We expect parliamentarians to fear God, but I am shocked and embarrassed by this. How can you approve civil partnerships!” he said.

“Honestly, civil partnerships being baptised. Parliamentarians you need Jesus, these may be Zanu PF or MDC members of parliament.”

The proposed new Marriage Bill has courted controversy, with various interpretations and questions from the public as to whether it would not undermine the family unit and the traditional marriage institution.

It was also construed that the new law would elevate “small houses” to being legal unions.

“We have a problem of being led by parliamentarians who have got several children outside wedlock, then they go ahead and support a law that will disenfranchise and disturb holy matrimony.

“We are saying maybe you can go and follow the customary and leave ours. Let us defend our (Chapter) 5.11,” Magaya said.

Magaya urged MPs to repent and also fix their own marriages.

He said if that was a problem, then they should not be leading thousands of people in their constituencies astray.

The cleric even named the parliamentarians prostitutes (mhombwe).

“If you are part of the promiscuous ones in here, leave fix your family and marriage first before you even think of fixing a whole constituency, and if you cannot just leave our constituency, you prostitute (mhombwe).

Earlier this week, cabinet scrapped the clause on the grounds that it was against the country’s cultural and religious beliefs following public uproar.

Section 40 of the Marriage Bill sought to legalise ‘Civil Partnerships’ as marriage for purposes of sharing property at the separation of partners.