NGOCC SUPPORTS THE PAYMENT OF “LOBOLA”
For Immediate Release
26th February 2017
The Non Governmental Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has noted the ongoing debate that has engrossed the country on whether government should regulate or abolish the payment of bride price commonly referred to as “Lobola” in Southern Africa.
As an organization, we note that payment of bride price in Zambia called “Lobola”, “Chimalo”, “Impango”, “Lubono“ and so forth, depending on what part of the country one comes from, is a tradition that defines how we as a people celebrate our marriage rite. However, NGOCC is deeply concerned with the commercialisation of “Lobola” which is de-humanising to women and girls, who are treated as commodities, chattels and sex objects.
Some families are literally using Lobola as a way to make capital and making women and girls as commodities for sale. It is such practices that have led to the misconception that paying Lobola condemns women into commodities that would be abused by men. The high Lobola fee being charged is considered as a price paid for the transfer of a woman’s sexual and economic rights to her husband and his family. It is no doubt that the high Lobola charge has a negative effect on the marital stability and has contributed to the rise in child/early marriages and violence against women and girls.
We call on government through the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs working with Traditional leaders that are custodians of our customs and traditions to guide the country on how to positively establish a marriage contract between two families without destroying the wellbeing of the couple thereafter.
There is also need to sensitize communities that the payment of Lobola should not place women into slavery. A human life is priceless and therefore society must be made to understand that women and girls should never be made commodities for sale to the highest Lobola bidder. Marriage should respect human rights, integrity and dignity of both women and men.
Sara H. Longwe