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Koome proposes law to have married couples wed outside wedlock

Should a newly proposed bill from the Judiciary become law, married individuals who intend to marry outside the law will be free to look for other partners even if their spouses are still alive.

In a spate of modifications, Chief Justice Martha Koome has recommended deleting various portions of the Penal Code including Section 171 that deal on Bigamy.

Unions covered by the proposed law include marriages under religious ceremonies and legally recognised customary marriages.

Current legislation states that if you are not separated, you cannot marry someone else while your spouse is still living.

Any lawfully married individual who surreptitiously marries someone outside of their marriage is guilty of a felony and faces up to five years in prison, according to the existing Penal Code.

It is further made plain by Section 172 of the Penal Code, which states that it is illegal for anybody to pursue another person’s hand in marriage with the aim to conduct fraud or with hidden agendas.

Infidelity and bigamy in marriage have been commonplace in the nation, giving rise to numerous court proceedings and occasionally jail sentences.

The Amendment Bill does not include the polygamy-related Marriage Act of 2014, which was signed into law by former President Uhuru.

In Parliament, the Bill was enacted in March 2014 with strong opposition from female parliamentarians and backing from the majority of male MPs.

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