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All Marriage Certificate Books Recalled As State Prepares For New Marriage Act, 2014


Following the commencement of the newly enacted Marriage Act 2014, Attorney General Githu Muigai has issued an order to recall all Marriage Certificate books being held by Church ministers and members of the provincial administration licensed to conduct weddings on behalf of the Government, as it starts issuing new certificates for the same.

The Government is expected to issue new types of certificates to those getting married from November 1. Thus, all concerned whose licenses to conduct weddings will not have been renewed by then, by the Registrar of Marriages will preside over illegal marriages, whose certificates will not be recognized by law.


Prof Muigai has warned that all unused marriage certificates issued under the repealed laws - Marriage Act, Cap 150 and the African Christian Marriage and Divorce Registration Act, Cap 151- will cease to have effect from the said date, and thus directed those in possession of the books to surrender them to the Registrar of Marriages at Sheria House.


For the clergymen to qualify to preside over weddings and issue Marriage Certificates from the date of commencement of the new law, they will be required to hold new licenses.


Upon application, they will be issued with new books of certificates. In applying for new licenses, the ministers are also expected to file returns of all marriages they have celebrated to date, giving copies of marriage certificates they have issued in respect to those unions.


They are further supposed to submit authentic church records documenting all scheduled marriages due to be conducted before November 1, listing the exact number of marriage certificates they intend to retain for such purpose. "The church records should be supported by copies of registrar certificates or special licenses (from the Registrar) for the planned marriages," says Muigai in an advert. He warned that licenses for ministers who fail to meet the dictated requirements will be cancelled.

Similar stringent measures have been directed to the Deputy County Commissioners, who are further directed to file returns of all marriages they have celebrated and whose records have not been submitted to the Attorney General's office. The new law provides that a marriage may be registered under the Act if it is celebrated in accordance with the rites of a Christian denomination, as a civil marriage, in accordance with the customary rites relating to any of the communities in Kenya, in accordance with the Hindu rites and ceremonies, and in accordance with Islamic law.


Article courtesy of Standard Media.
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