Clergy say new marriage certificate fees will fuel immorality

Newly married couple Joseph Otieno and Faith Chelangat sign the marriage certificate as George Njuki of office of  The spouse of the Deputy President chaplain officer witnesses on November 11, 2023. [David Gichuru, Standard]

The Church and Clergy Association of Kenya (CCAK) has appealed to President William Ruto to declare his stand on the increasing cost of living.

They also want Ruto to pronounce himself on the new marriage certificate fees, decriminalizing prostitution and digital identification of babies.

They faulted the increase in fees to access government services, saying it is untimely and inconsiderate to poor Kenyans who are grappling with tough economic times.

The church said they are disturbed that Ruto took over the government on the banner of Christianity but his actions are contrary to its teachings.

“The country and your people are already suffering. Mwananchi cannot afford one meal a day and a majority of Kenyans are living below the poverty line. The increase of fees to access government services is unfair and inhumane,” said CCAK chairperson Bishop Hudson Ndeda.

Addressing the Media at the Bibilica Guest House in Nairobi, yesterday, he faulted the president for disregarding election promises to Kenyans.

“The government must come up with homegrown solutions that cushion the pocket of the common mwananchi. We speak to you because we see people coming to our churches every week. Kenyans are tired, in debt, oppressed and angry. People cannot enjoy work of their labor because things have become heavy on them,” he said.

Why you may urgently need that marriage certificate

Ndeda urged the government to rethink the decision to increase the marriage certificate fees saying that it will encourage immorality and discourage youths from marrying.

“As the church, we are more concerned about the increase in marriage registration fees. It is without a doubt that the church is a key stakeholder in this area since we are responsible with buying marriage books and officiating marriages. Allowing increase in fees will encourage moral decadence as a majority of young people will shy away from registering their marriages in a godly way,” he said.

The bishop wondered why the lawmakers are keen on decriminalizing sex work instead of saving Kenyans from the high cost of living.

“The church is aware with consternation and awe that a Bill has been introduced in Parliament with the aim of decriminalizing prostitution. Why would we even have such conversations in our country yet people are dying for lack of food, water, health and sanitation?” He posed.

Ndeda warned that if the Bill passes into law, youths will wallow in moral decadence.

“We urge you to publicly come out and explain to Kenyans the process you undertook to agree on this dark endeavor and further why you want our unborn children to be enrolled in something that Kenyans have no choice over,” he said.