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Kenya to legalize polygamy but ban bride-price payments

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November 10, 2012 (NAIROBI) - Kenya’s cabinet has passed a bill allowing polygamous marriages, while banning the payment of bride-price for marriages. The law, when finally enacted by the parliament, will also consider couples co-habiting for more than six months to be legally married.

In an article published on Friday by the BBC News Africa, the cabinet said the bill aimed to offer legal protection to all forms of marriages in the country - Christian, Islamic, Hindu, civil and traditional. It is also intended to give women and children protection under the law.

The BBC’s Muliro Telewa in the capital, Nairobi, says the decision to stop the age-old custom of bride price is one of the most contentious of the proposals to harmonise the East African nation’s marriage laws.

Bride prices are commonly paid by most of Kenya’s more than 40 ethnic groups.
Current customary law stipulates that a marriage is not considered legal unless a bride price has been paid, usually in the form of cows.

Such customary laws in marriages are shared across many countries in Africa including South Sudan where bride-price ranges from few goats or sheep to hundreds of cows, or the equivalent in money, for a bride.

South Sudan’s law is silent about polygamy or how many wives a man is allowed to marry but polygamy is a widely acceptable practice in several communities in the region.

(ST)

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  • 10 November 2012 08:30, by George Bol

    If you allow polygamy and ban bride price at the same time, you are contradicting yourself.Polygamy and bride price should be ban at the same time-make sense.

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    • 10 November 2012 08:37, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

      This uncultural laws shouldn’t be export to our country, I hope our people will say no, and we will support them,

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      • 10 November 2012 08:52, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

        I mean import it to our country,

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        • 10 November 2012 15:03, by Mi diit

          Western world is fooling Africa that polygamy is a bad practice while they divorce so many times. This is an expression of having another wife by divorcing the first one. It is better you marry another one while keep the first one. Why victimize the first with divorce???

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          • 10 November 2012 15:05, by Mi diit

            In western world when you look for another wife you are tempted to divorce the first to give room for the second. But in Africa you just add another one and keep both or more. In the west you keep divorcing them when you feel you want another one. That is bad!!

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            • 10 November 2012 15:08, by Mi diit

              bride price should not be banned but it should be reduced to reasonable number of cows or sum of money.

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              • 10 November 2012 15:27, by Mapuor

                Midiit
                You are right,things go gradually,much as making humans commodites is bad,the fact that it existed for centuries needs gradual removal.Ten cows paid as legal bride pricre is ok.

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            • 12 November 2012 00:22, by australian

              Mi Dit: your words reveal the problem. You think it is all about the man and what he wants. What about women? Often it is the WOMAN who wants to divorce. When people divorce they are BOTH free to find another person to marry. You talk about women as if they are just possessions to accumulate, not real people.

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              • 12 November 2012 00:27, by australian

                Polygamy is a problem because there are not enough women for men to have more wives. They can get more wives by:
                a) marrying ever-younger females
                b) stealing women from other tribes
                c) getting rich - which means some men are too poor to have even ONE wife (like in Muslim countries.)
                We in the West DO NOT want all the excess men from polygamous countries!!!!

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                • 13 November 2012 12:57, by Ajiej

                  Dear Madam Australian,
                  I am totally disagree with you for what you stated that, there are no enough women for men and here we have more than thousand girls moving anyhow in ever town looking for someone to marriage them meaning that we have more girls who have no men to marriage them.It will be a chance for those ladies who do not have husbands to get marriage.
                  Thanks
                  Ajiej

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  • 10 November 2012 09:25, by dinkdong

    More wives for less or nothing at all? That’s awesome!

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    • 10 November 2012 10:05, by Peter Marko

      What awesome about more wives for nothing, bro. I personally do believe that both the polygamy practices and bride-price payments should be ban in S. Sudan. There is nothing a man could get from marrying to more than one wives that he could not get from having one wife. In fact, having one wife is not only a peace of mind, but let a man to better take care of his family, as most of u agree with me

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  • 10 November 2012 11:59, by Yei Top

    Many of us would be upset if this law is passed in the newest nation South Sudan, many of our states will gang against their own parliamentaries

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  • 11 November 2012 05:23, by SPLA,corrup

    We African are trying to make a difference but it does not make sense at all, my question is you can have many wives as you want but if you have many children are you able to give them education to the highest level? Provide adequate medical to them all, have a good job able to feed them all, this is really absurd.

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  • 12 November 2012 00:29, by australian

    I would be willing to bet this is part of the agreed Islamisation of Kenya. Sharia law will come in tiny steps.

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  • 13 November 2012 04:16, by linhaixie

    The stuff used for designing many Canada north face promotion code stylish puts on is of high quality. It can help you stay warm assure you desire to like great love and popularity. It will certainly permits you to avoid personals typical north face tricli

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