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Missing name stops Kenyan woman's marriage to Spaniard

By Kamau Muthoni | Apr 12th 2022 | 3 min read
Brandy Sherile wants the court to compel the registrar to officiate the marriage. [File, Standard]

When Brandy Sherile Kisia was born 22 years ago, her parents included the name Buholo in her birth certificate.

Four years ago, she got a national identity card indicating she is Brandy Sherile Kisia. She used the same name in her passport.

Little did she know that the “mismatch” in her birth certificate, national ID, and passport would deny her a moment some girls dream of; marriage.

Sherile had planned to marry her fiancé David Anton Liapart, a Spanish, last week.

The two lovebirds had planned to tie the knot before the registrar of marriages. In preparation for the marriage, she opened an E-citizen account and presented all the documents required for a civil marriage.

She thought it would be a walk in the park but that was never the case. Her name had an issue; the fact that Buholo was missing from her documents became a bone of contention.

In her court documents filed before the High Court, Sherile stated that she got a text message requiring her to align the names of the bride.

According to Sherile, her lawyers followed up and were informed that the registrar required her national identity card to have the missing name; that her national identity card ought to read Brandy Sherile Buholo Kisia.

In order to resolve the issue, she decided to do a declaration that Brandy Sherile Buholo Kisia and Brandy Sherile Kisia referred to one person. Sherile stated that she faced a similar issue while applying for a passport, but a declaration resolved the matter. However, the response she got from the registrar of marriages broke her heart. Her application to marry was rejected.

“The registrar’s refusal to celebrate the marriage unless I change my names in the identity card is unreasonable and an infringement on my rights and a threat of violation of my rights,” she lamented.

According to her, marriage is a decision between two consenting adults and should not be denied so long as one can provide a document recognised by law.

She asserted that the registrar could rely on the bio-data keyed in the system in order to ascertain that she is the bride.

“There is nothing important in the names in marriages but a consensus of the parties, more so even when I have declared that both names are mine,” she stated.

According to her, Anton will leave the country on Thursday this week, adding that she does not know what decision he will take thereafter.

“I stand to lose a great deal perhaps the worst losing this marriage because in the mind of my bridegroom he may decide to call it off if it can’t work. This shall be a grave loss that cannot be compensated in any way,” claims Sherile.

She says Anton chose Easter as he has a busy schedule. The woman’s court papers read that the situation also puts her 55-year-old fiancé in a fix as he has to show proof to his employer that he was in the country to marry.

“My fiancé is here and stranded because his government will require him to show a marriage certificate vindicating his leave of absence from work while on the other hand the registrar’s action is as good as a threat and imminent. Marriage is not in the name but the consensus between parties,” reads the court papers. 

Sherile now wants the court to compel the registrar to officiate the marriage. At the same time, she wants the court to find that stopping the marriage and forcing her to have all the names is against her rights.

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