The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Amend Marriage Bill, Says Bishop

A church leader has cautioned Parliament against passing the come-we-stay marriage bill, saying it could have serious implications families.

Bishop Thomas Kakala of the Jesus Care Centre Ministries in Malindi said if the bill is passed into law, women will take advantage of it to oppress men.

According to the bill, any man in a come-we-stay relationship for six months shall be automatically be regarded as legally married. The bill also empowers chiefs to register all come-we-stay relationships in their areas.

Addressing a press conference at the JCC Church in Malindi, Kakala said: "If the bill becomes law, all high school, colleges and universities students who in relationship shall be forced to get married even before graduating."

"This bill should be amended because it is taking the country backwards," he said. He said MPs could also easily fall victim to the new law as it would not spare anyone once it is passed. He appealed to religious leaders to fight against the bill.

Kakala, who is also the chair of Malindi Pastors Association, said: "Parliamentarians should be careful because many relationships might be turned into a hit-and-run game as those involved try to avoid falling into the trap.

The bill was cleared by the Cabinet last Thursday has elicited mixed reactions. Some said it will stop men from dumping women at will. Others claimed women will use it to trick men into marrying them.

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