Source: Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)
By John Nditi in Morogoro
ONLY people with valid birth certificates will be allowed to get married effective May 1, 2017, it was declared here yesterday. Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Harrison Mwakyembe directed the Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA) to initiate a legal process to ensure that legal marriage is strictly restricted to only citizens with birth documents.
The directive has come just few days since the Ministry of State in the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government prohibited registration of pupils for Standard Four and Seven national examinations without possession of valid birth certificates.
Dr Mwakyembe issued the new directive on marriage here yesterday when addressing Morogoro District leaders, led by District Commissioner Regina Chonjo. State Attorneys and RITA regional officials also attended the meeting.
Dr Mwakyembe gave a grace period of two months to May 1, insisting that from that date no any traditional or religious leader will be allowed to preside over a marriage involving people without birth certificates.
« Tanzania still lags behind on the registration of birth certificates, we are among the five worst performers among African countries on birth registration, » he charged, hinting that as per 2012 population census, only 13.7 per cent of Tanzanians possessed birth certificates, with Zanzibar’s birth registration standing at 75 per cent.
The minister said the directive aims at ensuring that the country achieves high rate of people with birth certificates