Religious leaders want marriage registration fees reduced in Uganda

Religious leaders want marriage registration fees reduced in Uganda
The Uganda Registration Services Bureau Act requires each of the wedded couples to pay registration fee of 35,000 shillings to the bureau for certification of their marriages.

Religious leaders under the umbrella of Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) from the greater Masaka sub-region have asked government to consider reviews in marriage registration fees.

At the three-day conference with a team from the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) at Brovad Hotel in Masaka town, the religious leaders indicated that many Christian couples are being held back by the high fees.

The Uganda Registration Services Bureau Act requires each of the wedded couples to pay registration fee of 35,000 shillings to the bureau for certification of their marriages.

Bishop Henry Katumba Tamale, of West Buganda Anglican Diocese, says out of their experience, they have discovered that quite a number of Christians are shunning legal marriage citing the unaffordable costs incurred in the process.

Bishop Katumba explains that the situation has of late prompted the church to adopt and encourage Christians to embrace mass weddings as an invention to reduce the costs of wedding.

Reverend Father Doctor Edward Ssekabanja, the Masaka Diocesan Chancellor observes that they are also facing similar challenges given high poverty rates, especially in rural areas.

Fr Ssekabanja, suggests that government should find ways equitably distribute the taxes from the wealthier couples that turn up to register their marriage to cover-up those who cannot afford.

Zues Kizza, a senior legal officer at the URSB says that the religious leaders should task the government on the fees.

He also asked the leaders to encourage their followers to seek certification because it is the only available authentication that can safe guard their marriage.

URN