Rethinking the interstate Succession Act and the Little Land security It Provides for Women in Polygamous Marriages : Case of Zambia | Land Portal
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Date of publication: 
May 2022
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Copyright details: 
Chasu Longwe


The practice of polygamy in Africa has been openly accepted into the customary laws of many African states. In Zambia, polygamy continues to be practiced along tribal lines and although the practice has not been legislated, the Interstate Succession Act of 1989 does recognize polygamous marriages and provides for the devolution of an estate in these marriages when one dies interstate, i.e. one dies without leaving a written will. While the Act was implemented in good faith, and came at a time when land grabbing by the deceased relatives was a common practice, the historical development of the Intestate Succession Act has received a lot of criticism over the years and has led to its amendment [3]. Although the Act was amended to provide protection for women’s land rights, many long-standing challenges regarding women’s rights to inherit their deceased spouse’s property still exist [3]. Simpaya writes that with the stipulations under the Act, women in polygamous marriages are provided weaker protections under the Intestate Succession Act. This article analyses how the Interstate Succession Act through Article 2(2) and Article 5(a) provides little protection for women’s land rights. This Article will focus on the little land security provided for widows from polygamous marriages. 

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