The Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) together with the Buganda Kingdom have partnered in a move intended to support and strengthen traditional marriage registration and practices across communities.
The practice has been that once a customary marriage is officiated, the couple receives a Buganda Kingdom certificate and considers the marriage registered.
Majority of Ugandans, even the elites are not aware that even customary marriages need to be registered by URSB according to the law.
Officials explained that the process of registration of a customary marriage can only be considered complete once the marriage is filed with the sub county chief and a copy of that marriage forwarded to the Registrar of Marriages at URSB.
Speaking at the event,the Registrar General of URSB, Mercy Kainobwisho spoke about the importance of encouraging their clients to have their unions registered.
She noted that the registration of customary marriages should be effected not later than 6 months after the date of completion of the ceremony although registration after the expiration of 6 months is allowed upon payment of the prescribed fee.
“For any society and the kingdom to develop, the basic unit of society, the family must be documented to support their progression. This is what marriage registration confers to the couples. I urge you all to support all traditional marriages to get registered. The benefits are immense, ”Kainobwisho said.
Customary marriage, termed locally as Kwanjula/Kukyala among the Baganda is one of the recognised marriages in Uganda.
It is a type of marriage which is negotiated, celebrated and concluded according to specific culture and norms, celebrated according to the rites of an African community to which one is a member.