, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 28 – Justice Mumbi Ngugi has found that Bishop Mark Kariuki of the Deliverance Churches of Kenya and other Christian Ministers were not discriminated against by the Registrar of Marriages, as the new requirement that clergy obtain new marriage certificate books was required “of all religious ministers.”
And while she refrained from issuing orders, she did however point out that an omission by the Registrar did impact Muslim marriages.
Kariuki and other Christian Ministers had accused the Registrar of Marriages of discriminating against them by requiring that they apply afresh for the power to officiate marriages.
They said it was also discriminatory for couples seeking to be married in the church to first seek clearance from the Registrar of Marriages.
Through lawyer Kenneth Mbaabu they also argued that it was unreasonable for them to be required to obtain new marriage certificate books at an extra cost.
“Previously the certificate books cost Sh20,000 for a hundred leaves and some churches had up to a hundred books in reserve. So it was unreasonable to require them to buy new ones at Sh25,000 for 50 leaves while Kadhis are supplied with theirs free of charge,” Mbaabu argued.
Requirements that went against the Marriage Act of 2014, the Christian Ministers argued. And they did succeed in obtaining conservatory orders but they were later lifted.
The ministers also argued that the increased cost of marriage certificates would be passed on to those who sought to be wed and therefore violate Article 45 of the Constitution on the Right to Marriage.
In disagreement with Ngugi’s judgement, Mbaabu said his clients intend to appeal.