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Africanise Marriage Bill 2013, leaders tell legislators

By Bryan Tumwa | July 22nd 2013

By Bryan Tumwa

Kakamega, Kenya: Leaders from Western Kenya want the controversial Marriage Bill 2013 amended to suit African traditional society customs before it is passed in Parliament.

Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale said the Bill should be amended to include clauses that encourage marriage driven by love and customary practices of various communities.

“Different communities have their unique inclinations when it comes to such matters of love. However, the law should recognise the unique cultural diversities when it comes to marriage. There are some good clauses in the Bill but amendments will make it even better,” he noted.


He observed that there was a clause in the Bill that prevents the use of deception when a man is proposing to a woman.  He said during the seduction period in which a man is actively flirting with a woman, deception is sometimes inevitable which was why the Bill should be amended to be more realistic.

National Assembly Deputy Chief Whip Benjamin Washiali said the proposed law contained some cultural inconsistencies in terms of provisions necessary for the marriage institution.

“The Bill says once you have proposed to a woman, you cannot reverse the decision to drop her as your fiancée. We shall oppose it. We want a Bill that looks at the traditions of the Maasai, Turkana, Luhya and all other tribes of Kenya,” he said.

He urged the National Assembly and the Senate not to pass the faulty Bill as currently drafted.

Speaking during the funeral of Wilson Machengo, the father to a member of Kakamega County Assembly Jomo Machengo, Khalwale also called on United Democratic Forum party leader Musalia Mudavadi to conduct a grassroots election to reconstitute the party.

“Mudavadi should move quickly and call for grassroots elections to make the party stronger. Elections should enable us plan ahead so that we prepare to face others in future elections,” he said.

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