The Process of Registration of Customary Marriages

By HAMIDA CHIDAGAYA.

The enactment of the Marriage Act 2014 brought with it the recognition of 5 primary systems of marriage. Section 6 of the Act provides as follows:

(1) A marriage may be registered under this Act if it is celebrated:

  • in accordance with the rites of a Christian denomination;
  • as a civil marriage;
  • in accordance with the customary rites relating to any of the communities in Kenya
  • in accordance with the Hindu rites and ceremonies; and
  • in accordance with Islamic law.

(2) A Christian, Hindu or civil marriage is monogamous.

(3) A marriage celebrated under customary law or Islamic law is presumed to be polygamous or potentially polygamous.”

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