Dar es Salaam — Child rights activists say they will oppose the move by the government to appeal against the High Court ruling that outlaws the marriage of children below the age of 18.
The Tanzania Ending Child Marriage Network (TECMN) has condemned the government for what it says is a portrayal of failure in its obligation to guarantee protection of children's rights.
Addressing a press conference in Dar es Salaam, officials of TECMN said they were surprised at the decision by the government to appeal an order that was in the interest of national development.
The Act in question allows in customary marriages, recognises 14-year-old brides while parents' consent is enough to marry off those aged from 15.
In the ruling delivered by Judge Ataulwa Munisi on behalf of two colleagues recently, the High Court stated that sections 13 and 17 of the Law of Marriage Act, 1971 were unconstitutional.
The TECMN chairperson, Ms Valerie Msoka, asked the government to respect the High Court ruling and initiate repeal mechanism immediately.
She said the High Court decision should have been taken seriously by all parties, for the sake of promoting children's rights.
Msichana Initiative executive director Rebecca Gyumi said the network is ready to challenge the government appeal before the court. "We will even go further to the East African Court of Appeal as the government move has left us with many unanswered questions," she said.