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KNHC says Matrimonial Property Bill commercializes marriage

20 November 2013, 22:51 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi - The Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNHC) has faulted the recently passed Matrimonial Property Bill on the ground that it is against the provisions of the new constitution aimed at turning marriages into business partnership.

Patricia Nyaundi, the KNHC Director, said the MP's legislation of Matrimonial Property Bill opposing to the constitutional equal share of property between couples in the event of divorce is denying an essential right to 70% of citizens who voted for the new constitution. 

"Article 45 of the constitution states that the family built of mutual equality is the foundation of the nation thus legislating laws on inequality property sharing between couples is commercializing marriages founded on a mutual relationship,"said Nyaundi.

Nyaundi said that MPs have embarked on legislating laws without foreseeing the consequences of them, which will also affect future generations.

She added that today's matrimonial bill in the new constitution is desirable because it limits a spouse's future regrets of incurring loss upon equal property sharing for getting into the marriage that results into divorce.

Nyaundi further said that KNHC will ensure the tabled Family Protection Bill is implemented to curb any form of domestic violence in families.

"The Family Protection Bill provides the aggressor in the marriage to leave the family for protection of victims of domestic violence like women and children, contrary to women always moving out despite being the victims of patriarchal abuse," said Nyaundi.

Moreover, she noted that traditional marriages which have been facing a lot of challenges in terms of legality will also be empowered by the issuance of the certificate of marriage.

Nyaundi stated that possession of the certificate will enhance property succession for women to inherit their husbands' wealth, without conflicting with their matrimonial family members who sometimes indiscriminately deny the deceased's wife the right to property succession.

She was speaking to a local radio station on the implication of the recently passed matrimonial property bill that both the women rights organization and the law society of kenya have opposed threatening to seek court's ruling in case the President signs it into law.



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