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Archive for July, 2011

Partying at a funeral

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Friday, July 29th, 2011 by Lenard Kamwendo

Gone are days when people would cry their lungs out to express their emotions for the loss of a loved one. Instead, as way of celebrating the life of a loved one who has passed on, people have now resorted to lightening the occasion with some music leading into a party. When I was growing up funerals were associated with somber church hymns and sad faces. Laughing at a funeral was taboo because one was expected to be mourning.  I remember back in 2001 my Uncle had a nasty fight with my Aunt after they attended a funeral in the low-density suburbs of Harare. By the slip of the tongue my aunt was overheard telling her friends that she really enjoyed the funeral to the extent that it looked like a wedding … “Asikana takafara zvekuti nhamo yanga yoita kunge muchato, taingoti kana toda chikafu tongo shevedzera waiter ouya nacho” … meaning we really enjoyed ourselves and one could think it was a wedding because there was catering service at the funeral. I wouldn’t blame my aunt for being unAfrican or for saying those things because coming from the high-density suburbs she expected to see grieving people wearing sad faces just like any funeral she had previously attended.

In Zimbabwean culture one is not supposed say you enjoyed the funeral no matter how much fun you had. But with changing times and the embracing of other cultures, funerals are now places where one can put on dancing shoes and place your favourite music request from the master of ceremonies. In a similar scenario Jimmy Jimalo, the young brother of Philip Chiyangwa, before he died asked for a live band and a party at his funeral. Music promotion was his business and as a nice farewell Sulumani Chimbetu gave a stunning performance. To some people this sounds like showing off or an extravagance but to some they call it changing times and a befitting sent-off.

Power outages just getting started

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Thursday, July 28th, 2011 by Amanda Atwood

I’ve just seen this headline and intro from The Zimbabwean, about alerts being circulated via ZBC.

Electricty Warnings
Zimbabwean’s have been warned to brace themselves for daily power outages with cash-strapped Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) unable to pay its dues.

I thought. Isn’t that what we’re already experiencing?

Cut Mugabe’s travel allowance

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Thursday, July 28th, 2011 by Bev Clark

Here’s a radical idea: what if Mugabe stays home for a few months and his travel allowance, generous as it is, goes towards helping ZESA, our national power company, get back on its feet? Apparently ZESA has been running adverts on state controlled TV asking people to switch off their switches and geysers. Hmmm. The average citizen is yet again asked to moderate their behaviour but all the while the chefs in suits Just Don’t Give a Damn.

Public transport for politicians

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Thursday, July 28th, 2011 by Amanda Atwood

We just got this in from an SMS subscriber. I thought it was a very good question! Let’s see more MPs using public transport to get to rallies – as well as to other events.

I would love to see my MDC. MP coming to a rally to address us using public transport

Poetry and Rock

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Thursday, July 28th, 2011 by Bev Clark

Poetry & Rock

Date & Time: Saturday, July 30 from 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Location: Mannenberg, Harare

Poetry And…Rock a continuation of the Poetry And Events. Poetry And…Rock will feature Poets and will be accompanied with live music. This is an event that wants to establish commercial poetry. We want to blast poetry into your minds with some rock and roll and the cast is the same but some surprises are in store with the presentation. A battle between POETS and some HARD ROCK MUSIC. Featuring a hot, up and coming band, THE MONKEY NUTS! The war has been waged, now let’s get ready for some rock and roll.

See you there!

Marriage and its implications on inheritance

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Thursday, July 28th, 2011 by Bev Clark

WLSA has been in existence for the past 24 years. We have handled and continue handling many cases on inheritance. We have also noted an increase in inheritance disputes due to the increase in deaths brought about by HIV/Aids. The case below is one of the thousands of cases that we have dealt with. It illustrates the complexities in our lives especially in relation to marriages.

B (male) paid lobola for A in 1960 under an unregistered customary law union. The union was blessed with five children, three girls and two boys. B acquired a stand in the High density area of Glen View in Harare in 1981. A was a hard working woman and spent time in the rural areas, farming and selling the produce. She also went to neighbouring countries to purchase goods for re-sale. Most of the money generated by A was used to purchase building materials and develop the residential stand in Glen View until it became a complete nine roomed house. A’s desire was to wed in church with B but the latter adamantly refused. In 2001, B met a woman C and started an affair with her. In 2002 B paid lobola for C. She constantly nagged B for a wedding until B gave in. In the same year, B advised A that she should stay permanently in the rural home in Wedza. In 2003, B and C unknown to A “married” at the Magistrate Court in terms of Chapter 5:11 marriage. A only learnt with shock the existence of the marriage on the 1st of June 2007 when B passed away.

Legally, an unregistered customary law union or a registered customary law marriage cannot exist side by side with a monogamous Chapter 5:11 marriage. From research conducted by WLSA, the situation enunciated above is not uncommon. As a result of intense advocacy, the Administration of Estates Amendment Act that started operating on the 1st of November 1997 provides that if a man is married in a registered customary law marriage or an unregistered customary law union but goes on to marry another wife in a Chapter 5:11 without dissolving the marriage or union, both the Chapter 5:11 marriage and the customary marriage or unregistered customary law union will be recognised as and treated as customary law marriages for purposes of inheritance only. A will be considered as the first wife and C the second wife. A and C will be entitled to inherit the house that they each stayed in at the time of B’s death, the household goods and contents and for the remainder they share with the children. A as the senior wife will get more from this remainder.

While WLSA applauds this law, research and other evidence has revealed that women in the situation of A who may have contributed to the acquisition and building of the house will often lose out since wives in the situation of C above who may not have contributed anything will inherit the house by virtue of the fact that they were living in the urban home at the time of B’s death.

On the other hand, if A and B had a registered chapter 5:11 marriage that allows a man to have only one wife at any given time and B goes on to marry C in an unregistered customary law union or registered customary law marriage without dissolving his marriage with A, if B dies, C will not be entitled to inherit anything from B’s estate.

Find out more about this and share your views. Email WLSA on sly [at] wlsazim [dot] co [dot] zw, gettie [at] wlsazim [dot] co [dot] zw or dorcas [at] wlsazim [dot] co [dot] zw

You can also use Skype as follows: slyvia.chirawu, getrude.matsika and dorcas.makaza

You can visit our website on www.wlsazim.co.zw

Making The Law Work For Women, Challenging The Legal System To Work For Women