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AG’s STATEMENT ON THE REGISTRATION OF CUSTOMARY MARRIAGES

PRESS STATEMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ON THE REGISTRATION OF CUSTOMARY MARRIAGES
 
The Office of The Attorney General and Department of Justice has gazetted rules for the Registration of Customary Marriages in Kenya under Gazette Notice Number 5345 dated 9th June 2017.
 
The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 expressly provides for the protection of the family and equality of marriage. In 2014, parliament enacted the Marriage Act which provides for registration of all systems of marriages, namely: Civil, Christian, Islamic, Hindu and Customary in accordance with the recommendations made by the Taskforce chaired by Hon. Justice (Rtd) Effie Owuor.
 
The purpose of the rules is to give effect on the equality of status between all systems of marriage and provide for a process of registration of marriages through certificates issued by the Registrar of Marriages.   
 
The requirements for registration of Customary Marriages as per Gazette Notice 5345 are as follows;
a)   Registration of Customary Marriages will start on 1st of August 2017;
b)   Parties who are already married under customary law SHALL ONLY REGISTER THEIR MARRIAGE AND BE FURNISHED WITH A CERTIFICATE.
c)    Parties who wish to contract Customary Marriages after the commencement date of registration, shall within three (3) months of completion of the relevant customary rites, notify the Registrar, who shall thereafter issue a certificate.
d)   The phrase “Prior authorization” in the Gazette Notice refers to guidance for purposes of commencing the registration of Customary Marriages.
 
MARY MUTAARU,
Ag. REGISTRAR OF MARRIAGES.

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