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URSB, Muslim Center for Justice and Law Move To Popularise Registration of Marriages.

Written by on April 4, 2021

Uganda Registration Service Bureau-URSB has entered a partnership with the Muslim Center for Justice and Law-MCJL to popularise the registration of marriages in the Muslim community. Through a Memorandum of Understanding signed at the URSB offices in Kampala, the two shall run joint campaigns to sensitize Muslims about the need to register their marriages.

They shall also conduct research to find out why marriage registration is low among Muslims and explore mechanisms that can be used to increase the registration of Muslim marriages.

Although there is no conclusive research, Mercy Kainobwisho, the registrar general of URSB, says that the low registration of marriages among Muslims are informed by lack of sufficient knowledge on the matter and myths that mislead people to think that some marriages are not supposed to be registered by the government.

She is optimistic that their partnership with MCJL shall help the bureau to establish rapport with the Muslim community, educate them on the requirements and benefits of marriage registration. She says government needs to have such data for better planning for its citizenry.

URSB is mandated to register marriages recognized under laws such as the Marriage Act and the Muhammadan Law. It also mandated to carry out research and disseminate research findings in the fields covered by laws including the Marriage Act and other marriage laws.

The Director Civil Registration at URSB, Vincent Katutsi says that there are a number of marriages conducted in the Muslim faith but a few of them are registered. He says there are only about 7,000 registered Muslim marriages, accounting for 6 percent of the total number of marriages registered, which is estimated at 116,700.

Christians have the highest number of registered marriages at 23,000. Although there is no data on how many Muslim marriages exist to compare with the registered ones, Katutsi says they anticipate the numbers are large especially that Muslims are by faith permitted to marry up to four wives. He says Muslims do not only fail to register marriages but also divorce.

URSB registers both marriages and divorce of Muslim faithfuls. Other faiths can only get a divorce certificate from court.

Umar Nyanzi, the President of MCJL says with this MoU, they shall also share experiences and conduct research together to understand why there is low marriage registration among Muslims and how this can be tackled. Nyanzi says that a number of people especially women face challenges to get social justice and access to inheritance from their spouses because they cannot prove that they were married.

He says the partnership shall play a big role in protecting people’s marriages and administering social justice in marriage.

URSB is also engaging other faiths to increase marriage registration across all religions.

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