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Economy

AG suspends marriages in war on virus

marriage services
The State Law Office partially reopened select marriage services. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The State Law Office has suspended marriage services over coronavirus fears, dealing a blow to couples seeking to formalise their marriages.

In a statement Wednesday, registrar-general Mary Njuya said marriage services at Sheria House had been temporarily halted to allow the department to develop a strategy on handling the high number of clients.

The move comes two days after the State Law Office partially reopened select marriage services.

The services had been suspended for 14 days in the lead up to the partial resumption of Registrar of Marriage and Registrar of Societies services on Monday. However, Ms Njuya said the overwhelming number of clients posed a risk in curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

“Following the partial re-opening of selected marriage services on Monday, it was observed that the number of clients who visited Sheria House seeking the same was overwhelming and went against the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health on curbing the spread of Covid-19,” read part of the statement.

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“As a result, the office has temporarily halted all marriage services in order to develop a clear roadmap on reopening in an organised manner to ensure that measures are undertaken in the workplace.”

The announcement is a blow to couples whose marriage plans the pandemic interfered with. However, Ms Njuya said the office would resume operations as soon as possible.

The Registrar General’s office had intended to have those who had marriages booked and paid for before the coronavirus rescheduled on a priority basis, with individuals being contacted by phone.

With the coronavirus pandemic affecting most operations in the country, including closure of religious places and the ban on large gatherings, some couples have opted to conduct their weddings without the physical presence of their loved ones while others had opted to officiate their marriage at Sheria House.

“We wish to assure all our clients that we are working tirelessly to ensure that provision of these services resume as soon as it is practically possible. We will communicate upon resumption of services,” she noted.

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