What is ua take on this? Is it practical?

AG orders registration of customary marriages

Attorney General Githu Muigai has ordered the registration of all customary marriages from August 1.
“All parties married under African customary law are required to register their marriages,” the AG said in a June 9 Gazette notice.

The registration will take place at Sheria House ground floor, and is in line with Marriage (Customary Marriage) Rules, 2017, and stipulations of Section 96 of Marriage Act, 2014.


Parties who wish to contract customary marriage from the above date must obtain prior authorisation from the registrar.

Certificates will only be issued to people whose applications are successful.


It is the law so it will have to be practical.

But some laws just end up being on paper only… very hard to implement… I know this involves money for the registrations… I dont know how much could be registration fee…


Once this law commences the impact will be situations when one needs to prove a marriage exists say in matrimonial property disputes as well as succession disputes. Otherwise the government cant force you to register your marriage but it is advisable in case of said contentious matters.


so if they do not register,will they be deemed unmarried/cheap divorce?


I know ignorance of the law is not an excuse but people that practice customary marriage generally tend to be poor and illiterate. How are they possible supposed to fathom why they need to report whom they are shacking up with?
Speaking of shacking up, “come we stay” serves a need. Some people can’t afford to get married and others don’t want to go over that hill of eternal commitment. You are going to take away their rights? The detailed reasoning behind this needs to be publicized.

Very true and my sentiments… I Googled and maybe they are hoping to make money from the poor… Abt Ksh 3,300 plus another Ksh 7,200, meaning one needs Ksh 10,500 before ones needs to factor any other costs… This is very expensive for most rural folks… and Why would government decide who to marry or not?


The following documents are required to register for marriage in Kenya.


  1. Copies of identification cards and
    coloured passport size photos (for both parties) and Ksh 600.
    NB* this will be for the notice which will run for 21days

  2. After the 21-day notice, if the ceremony is to take place in the:
    -Registrar’s Office- You will be required to pay Ksh 3,300 , and then given a marriage date according to the official diary.

-Church – you will be required to Pay
Ksh 800 after the 21day notice to obtain a Registrar.

Certificate which will be issued seven days thereafter

  • Copy Pastor’s License & serial No. of certificate of marriage to be issued
  1. Where the ceremony shall take place other than a church or Registrar’s Office e.g. A Garden, hotel etc. a Special License is also needed to License the venue for a wedding even if notice is properly given at a fee of Ksh. 7200.

– Pastor’s License- if it is a church wedding
– Both parties to be present


Some other law recognises the customary marriages… Registration or not.


Those concerned better do as stated lest people of ill intention abuse it. For example a b.itch can rush to court to bar her daughter in law from inheritance. Or a co-wife who wed in church denying her traditionally wed co…

Meaning the government is opening a Pandora’s box in a rush to get extra revenue… They say if it’s not broken don’t try to fix it… My thoughts…

if the Act was passed in 2014 and it takes effect this year, just comply. People have had enough time to challenge it but probably no one did.

But does the government has the moral right to decide for someone who to marry based on cash revenue? How much money the goverment will make? The service is not free…

What that other lae thst recognizes a 6 months of cihabitation as marriage?
Where does it come in,in the light of the new directive?

The Marriage Act 2014 consolidated all laws on marriage in Kenya. I read it. In my limited understanding, there is no such provision.

If you contract a marriage in church or at the AG’s, any subsequent marriage under any law is illegal and invalid unless you first divorce the person with whom the marriage was contracted or s/he dies and vice versa.

That is (and has always been) the law.

In the past, this registration used to take place at the DCs office. Now you must go to Sheria house, that’s what I understand from the notice. So, if you’re from Kinango, you’ll have to travel to Sheria house. Another thing, a certificate is conclusive proof of marriage. Kama hauna certificate basi hiyo ndoa haitambuliki kisheria.

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So if you register your customary marriage now, you’ll not have to seek the registrar’s prior consent.From that date you’ll have to seek the registrar’s consent before registering your customary marriage. I think the reason for the consent is for purposes of checking the civil marriage/ church marriage register. The civil marriage/ church marriage is monogamous while customary marriage is potentially polygamous.You cannot get married under customary law if you’ve already married in church/civil marriage.