Lloyd Gumbo Herald Reporter
A NUMBER of marriage officers face arrest for breaching marriage regulations, with three of them summoned over the issue by the Registrar General’s Office last week.
The RG’s Office said it has since forwarded some of the cases to the police for investigations.
The irregularities include failure to remit certificates to the Marriages Office at the RG’s Office.
The RG’s Office has since sought legal opinion from the Attorney General’s Office on what charges to prefer against the three marriage officers who were summoned last week.
“There are discrepancies discovered by the Registrar General’s Marriages Office,” said Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede.
“The matter has since been placed under police investigations.”
One of the officers kept marriage certificates of several couples since 2009 without getting the nuptials registered by the Marriages Office.
According to the regulations, the certificates are supposed to be submitted to the Marriages Office for registration within 30 days from the wedding date.
Late submission of the certificates creates room for bigamy and causes inconveniences to couples who intend to use marriage registers for other purposes.
Another officer is alleged to have plucked a marriage certificate from his book and gave it to another
person to conduct a wedding in another city.
Mr Mudede urged marriage officers to comply with the law.
Addressing marriage officers during the unveiling of new marriage certificates last month, Mr Mudede urged them to comply with the law.
For those who deliberately breach the regulations, he said, his department would not hesitate to report them to the police.
Mr Mudede said since the launch of the new certificates, his department had not heard of any marriages of convenience having been conducted.
The RG’s Office has threatened to withdraw marriage licences from officers who charge exorbitant fees.
The marriage law does not specify how much marriage officers should be paid to officiate at weddings.
“It is supposed to be just a token of appreciation and if we receive proven cases of reverends charging too much, then we can withdraw the marriage licence,” head of marriages in the RG’s Office, Mr Gorden Tsuro said.
The RG’s Office recently introduced new marriage certificates to curb irregularities after a number of marriages of inconveniencies were reported.