Mandera East MP sponsors mass wedding

Mandera East MP Hussein Weytan with one of the grooms. [Mohamed Saman, Standard]

A mass wedding that started as a campaign manifesto for Mandera East MP came to reality on Tuesday.

Hussein Weytan sponsored a wedding for 25 couples from poor families to seal their union.

The initiative also targeted couples living with disability, men and women who could not find a suitor and those who could not afford wedding expenses.

All the 25 bride's saloon and wedding gown expenses were also catered for.

The houses of the couples were also furnished and food items that would last for two months were provided.

Speaking to the Standard, Weytan said that he purposely did it for the couples to live their dreams.

“We are facing hard economic times as a country and these couples were unable to finance their wedding. Some were disabled and others had mental issues. We have fully sponsored their wedding this year and we shall continue for the next five years,’ said Weytan.

He said mass weddings are a cost-effective way for couples to tie the knot.

“And they can also promote a sense of community and togetherness. In addition, these weddings can be a fun and memorable experience for everyone involved,” Wetyan said.

The couple also received a boost after the MP announced that he would fully sponsor NHIF health cover for all the couples and also provide a monthly stipend to help them.

Sheikh Ali Abdi who oversaw the wedding ceremony appreciated the gesture of the MP and also urged all those who can afford marriage to do so.

Abdi said weddings help people in creating families and also reduce other external influences that come with bachelorhood.

Fatuma Ali Abdi, a mother who saw her 36-year-old disabled son get married could not hide her happiness.

She narrated how painful it was for her to take care of her disabled child.

“For the past two years, my son has been pleading with me to finance his marriage. I could not afford to even buy him a bed or a mattress,” Fatuma said.

Mohamed Kore, whose marriage quest hit a dead end due to his appearance and financial situation was also among the newlyweds.

Kore said that his wife Halima wanted their wedding to take place in 2020 but due to financial hardship and stigma from the community, he was denied the opportunity to marry early.

However, when Kore got the news that he was among the beneficiaries of the programme, he was delighted and appreciated the programme.