Getting married just got expensive. The government has increased marriage fees in new regulations that have already met opposition from legislators.
Yesterday, MPs accused Attorney General Githu Muigai of engineering a scheme to increase the number of informal marriages, commonly know as “come-we-stay”. The AG has published new regulations to govern legalisation of marriages, which MPs term as prohibitive and too expensive for the ordinary Kenyan.
MPs Malulu Injendi (Malava), Millie Odhiambo (Mbita), Isaac Mwaura (nominated), Joyce Lay (Taita Taveta), James Nyikal (Seme) and Robert Mutemi (nominated), said the government ought to let young Kenyans marry without having to pay expensively.
“The government must review the procedure and the cost of marriage registration, and decentralise the offices of the registrar of marriages to all sub-counties. They are encouraging come we stay unions and it is making it hard to have Christian marriages,” said Mr Injendi.
The AG says the new regulations are meant to enhance smooth implementation of the Marriage Act that was enacted last year. Couples will be required to pay Ksh600 from Ksh200 for notifying the registrar of marriages of their intended union. The new rates increase local marriage fees to Ksh2,000 from Sh1, 500. Those abroad will be required to pay Ksh10, 000 from Ksh5,000 for unions arranged at the country’s embassies.
Conducting a search for a marriage certificate will now cost Ksh500 from Ksh200. The State Law Office increased charges for a special license needed when a couple fails to issue the three-week notice of their intended marriage to the registrar. The licence will now go for Ksh7,000 from Ksh6, 250.