The government of Kenya has announced plans to curb marriage between any two Kenyans as a poverty mitigation strategy.
President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that marriages between Kenyans were contributing to misery and poor mental health for the country since two poor people getting married only results in compounded poverty, which is still poverty, albeit, worse than normal poverty.
“With soaring poverty rates, there is no point for any Kenyan to marry a fellow Kenyan. Go find a spouse in other places where the economy is doing better. Those in Saudi Arabia should just make some local arrangements over there. Those with some papers should immediately leave for Canada. China is a big opportunity for those from Central Kenya. The rest can even walk to Tanzania or Rwanda. We have options.”
The directive, which will be effective from July 2021, was received with both excitement and concern. Majority of Kenyans don’t know what to make of it, just like all other government policies. Although the idea seems good, most still have unanswered questions.
“Will the existing marriages be dissolved to give room for fresh marriages that conform to the government’s new economic policy? Has the government made any arrangements with the mentioned countries to provide room for Kenyans? Are we assured that the generational poverty that plagues Kenyans will come to an end, or will now be exported to other countries?”
No one is answering those questions, but the directive still stands.
Uhuru stated that Kenyans are poor, and this is causing domestic violence, sponsor culture and infidelity in marriage. “This is the reason why there is a sharp rise in crimes of passion. If Kenyans would marry people from rich countries or those experiencing economic growth, poverty can be reversed.”
Hopefully, this will be discussed with President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania when she visits Kenya next week.