Would you apply for loan from kitty to pay dowry?

What does it take to get married?

Money. Lots of it. At least that is what former Changamwe MP Ramadhan Kajembe believes.

On Tuesday, he said many youths in Mombasa, and Kenya at large, are not married because they cannot afford to pay dowry.

He urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to set up a dowry kitty for youths willing to get married but cannot afford bride price. The kitty will give grants to applicants who prove they are ready to get married.

“Uhuru should consider setting up a kitty for that. Don’t our youth want to marry?” Kajembe said in Tononoka Grounds, Mombasa, during Jamhuri Day celebrations on Tuesday.

The Kenya Ferry Services chairman is passionate about marriage.

During his time as Changamwe MP, Kajembe championed the use of Constituency Development Fund cash to pay dowry for poor youths.

He took the matter to the National Assembly after the 10th Parliament passed the Marriage Bill, which sought to abolish the payment of dowry or bride price, which he opposed.

At home, he set up a vetting committee made up of village elders, stakeholders and CDF officials to review applications.

Kajembe said a form detailing the requirements and qualifications of applicants must be filled before anyone got the money.

Kajembe said dowry should not be a hindrance to marriage. On Tuesday, he said marriage makes youth more responsible and may be a crucial way of reducing crime.

He said youth who cannot marry for lack of dowry become desperate and end up in crime to find dowry money.

In 2011, some MPs wanted dowry payment scrappe,d causing heated debates across the country.


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