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Kenyans urged to register marriages for the sake of their families wellbeing. Attorney General’s(AG`s) chambers Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Winnie Guchu has appealed to all couples in Narok and the country at large to register marriages in order to avoid future conflicts in their families.
Ms. Guchu lamented that many families have been left suffering after the head of the family passes on and their property is taken away by relatives and other malicious people for lack of a marriage certificate.
She was speaking in Narok on Wednesday after a consultative meeting with the County Commissioner Evans Achoki.
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Ms Guchu said couples who have married under customary law still need to go to the Registrar of marriages or to the county commissioners` offices near them to whom delegated power to perform this civil marriage has been given to get this vital document.
“Even when you marry more than one wife, each of them should have this certificate to safeguard her rights and those of the children born in that marriage,” the CAS said.
Legally, many times courts depend on documentary evidence to prove the existence of a marriage and use that to determine issues such as succession matters.
Guchu expressed concern about the residents of Narok whom she said do not look for this vital document after conducting customary marriages, adding that this has led to a lot of suffering to widows and children after land and property is taken away by relatives upon the death of the head of the family.
She also said plans were underway to train administrators especially chiefs and their assistants to impart them with some legal knowledge on some of the issues they handle as many have been found to make decisions that have been contested in court.
In a bid to bring services of the Attorney General’s office closer to the people, the CAS also said plans were afoot to open the AG`s offices in all the 47 counties.
Mr Achoki on his part said they were partnering with the AG`s chambers to offer services such as registration of marriage and public trustee for properties of deceased persons and called on residents to come and get these services.
To register a marriage at the Registrar of Marriage, the couple has to be of the opposite sex, be over 18 years old among other conditions and give notice of 90 days. The party intending to get married then pays Sh. 3,300 for the certificates and a 21-day notice is put up for anyone opposing to come up before the marriage is officially legalized.
KNA By Mabel Keya – Shikuku