The Director of Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), Fiona Bayiga, has said that every church in Uganda that conducts weddings must be known by the government, licenced and registered for easy regulation.
Speaking to news reporters, Bayiga reveals that currently there are about 3,000 churches which are registered adding that the unregistered churches are much more.
She added that the wedding conducted by those unregistered churches are illegal.
“If your church isn’t licensed and you are wedding couples, you are doing it against the law and those marriages are not recognised in the laws of Uganda. The number of registered churches does not represent all the churches that we have in the country, so we have more unlicensed churches,” Bayiga said.
She advised the couple seeking to be wed to first findout whether their preferred churches are registered or not in order to have a valid marriage.
“Everybody who intends to get married in a church should inquire if the church is registered. If they do not have evidence, they canmake a search in the marriage register. In Mbarara, they can go to Mbarara offices, where the search is done at sh 25,000,” Bayiga added.
She said marriage registration is done by churches and mosques and part of the church fees should include the registration fee.
The law requires that every church that seeks to conduct a marriage must be licensed. It is also a statutory requirement for every licensed and gazetted church conducting marriages to submit a monthly return of each marriage celebrated before the 10th day of the next month, byway of filing a Form F as indicated in the schedules.
Bayiga said URSB registers all marriages that are recognised by the laws of Uganda.
She added that a registration certificate costs sh200,000. She challenged churches conducting fancy marriages which are not recognised to stop doing so.