Marriage law biased, say Baha’i

Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi. FILE PHOTO |

What you need to know:

  • Ms Muigai said the religion was recognised worldwide and had followers in Kenya and the exclusion of its marriage principles was discriminatory and unconstitutional.
  • The Baha’i National Spiritual Assembly wrote to the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution before Parliament debated the Bill, but they were ignored, she said.

A lawyer for the Baha’i has gone to court demanding that the new marriage law should provide for the faith’s followers.

Ms Mary Wanjuhi Muigai on Wednesday argued that the new Marriage Act signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta in April did not cater for Baha’i marriages, separation, divorce, custody and maintenance of children.

Ms Muigai said the religion was recognised worldwide and had followers in Kenya and the exclusion of its marriage principles was discriminatory and unconstitutional.

“The Marriage Act 2014 only governs Christian, civil, Islamic, customary and Hindu marriages, separation and custody of children. It does not mention Baha’i marriages despite it being a universal religion recognised in Kenya,” she said.

The Baha’i National Spiritual Assembly wrote to the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution before Parliament debated the Bill, but they were ignored, she said.

Ms Muigai followed this up with a letter to the Clerk of the National Assembly but he did not respond.

“I even pleaded for a meeting with the Parliamentary Legal Committee in order to petition it to include our concerns but again there was no response. Our only hope is now with the courts,” she added.

Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi directed her to serve the Attorney-General and the CIC with the petition and scheduled the hearing for September 19.

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