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Polygamous unions now formally legal in Kenya after president assents bill

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed into law a bill that legalizes polygamous unions and opens the door for men to marry as many wives as they want.

Lawyer Judy Thongori Tuesday said the Marriage Act 2014 is long overdue and has more positive than negative attributes. She says the number of women a man can marry depends on the traditions of his tribe. Kenya has 42 tribes and many do not put a cap on the number of wives a man can marry as long as he can afford it.

Thongori said previous laws governing marriages and unions were made by British colonialists before Kenya gained independence in 1963 and did not capture the value systems of the indigenous populations.