AG faces suit over marriage certificate fees hike
09 October 2014, 16:36
Vihiga - The Kenya National Congress of Pentecostal Churches has threatened to initiate legal proceedings against the new marriage charges under Kenya Gazette Notice No. 6303 of September 5, 2014 saying the office of the Attorney General wants to make marriages unaffordable to the poor Kenyans.
The church leaders said that increasing marriage certificates cost by over 150 percent to KES 500 per leaf compared to the previous pricing is ridiculous.
They threatened to lead a mass demonstration against the government for taking the action without consultation with the common mwananchi.
“This directive should be reviewed as it will be a burden to the church ministers who act as Government agents to officiate weddings and issue marriage certificates on behalf of the government,” said Bishop Isaac Wawire.
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During a meeting that brought together over 1 000 church leaders in the western region, the clergy resolved to start issuing their own marriage certificates regarding the church concerned.
“It will force the church to make their own marriage certificates and allow people to get married the Biblical way, then they can source for the government’s certificate if they really need it,” said Simon Muhindi.
The clergy said that the office of the Attorney General should have given them a chance to negotiate instead of offering directives from Nairobi to unknowing members, who will incur loss in disposing off the books under their custody which they had bought.
Wawire said that if dialogue to review the new laws is not successful, the church leaders will seek legal counsel to stop the same.
The government has issued a directive to revoke licenses of those who will not have got the new marriage certificate books before November 1.
African Divine Church archbishop, John Chabuga, noted that it will be prudent for the office of the Attorney to review these new changes and seek consultation with the church fraternity.
“The congress views this as discrimination of the church ministers whereas the government should appreciate the great sacrifices the church lays for the society to bring social justice. The church also plays a key role in the family, in conducting and counselling of marriages and families, which if lost could lead to a social disorder in the nation,” said Chabuga.
The leaders begged the government to let marriages be as affordable as possible to prevent 'illegal' marriages in the country.
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