Zambian laws do not define the age of marriage-Nkandu Luo


Chief and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkandu Luo (in front dances) and National Museums Board Executive Secretary Flexon Mizinga (far right) at Livingstone Museum yesterday during the International Museum Day 2014 celebrations
Gender Minister Nkandu Luo

GOVERNMENT has attributed the increased number of child marriages to the dual marriage system in Zambia.

Gender Minister Nkandu Luo said in Mambwe that the customary law and statutes of Zambia does not define the age of marriage.

Prof Luo said that this has contributed to the high number of girls getting married at an early age.

She said that the laws of Zambia state that anyone can get married at 21 or below for as long as they get consent from their guardians.

Prof Luo said this came about through findings by the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) after the launch of the fight against child marriages in Luangeni Constituency.

“The breaking of the extended family and poverty are contributing largely to the scourge,”she said.

Prof Luo however, said that Government has come up with a bill to end child marriages and that it was being debated by various stakeholders.

The minster said that the bill would be taken to parliament later so that the customary law could be revised.


  1. In villages people have less things to do. If they are not in the fields cultivating or harvesting their produce, then the only optimal activity is sex. Hence they decide to marry early in avoidance of chiwelewele.

  2. A stoopid comment from any minister, but one for Gender is incredible! The defining rule is age of consent which by law is 16. Anybody who marries a girl under 16, unless they wait for her to reach 16 before they start making babies, is guilty of statutory rape. This is the rule that should be used to ban underage marriages. This rule overrides whatever Bemba or Bisa culture says!

    • No. 2 above is correct – if the age of consent is 16, it is implied that that is the legal age for marriage! And to think that ba Nkandu Luo was vying to be Vice President and fails to understand that simple correlation!

  3. Well it’s clearly a good thing to front a new corrective ?Bill for debate.

    Hon Luo is doing great in her role which she does with dignity. We never hear much from the new Traditions etc Minster on our customs. Hon. Luo brought the portfolio great publicity.

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