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Mombasa lawyer changes his name to H.E. Hon Dr

A Mombasa based lawyer has gone the extra mile and legally changed his name to His Excellency Honorable.

In the Kenya Gazette publication of 16th August 2019, Dr Nashon Fitzwanga has added the titles only reserved to heads of state, heads of government, ambassadors, certain ecclesiastics, royalty, and others holding equivalent rank.

The government granted his wish to change the name and gazette it on July 25 and he will now be legally called H.E. Hon Dr Nashon Fitzwanga.

“Dr. Nashon Fitzwanga, formally and absolutely renounced and abandoned the use of my name Dr. Nashon Fitzwanga and in lieu thereof assumed and adopted the name H.E. Hon Dr. Nashon Fitzwanga, for all purposes and authorizes and requests all persons at all times to designate, describe and address me by my assumed name H.E. Hon Dr. Nashon Fitzwanga only,” the notice reads in part.

PHOTO | COURTESY
PHOTO | COURTESY

This is not the first time in Kenya for someone to change names in a similar manner.

Embattled Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu 2017, a Gazette notice formalized “Babayao” as Waititu’s other name to become Ferdinand Ndung’u Waititu Babayao.

Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko and former Internal Security Minister, the late George Saitoti, also managed to achieve this milestone, even though it has been an elusive affair for some Kenyans.

Godfrey Kariuki Mwangi popularly known as Kabando Wa Kabando also picked his nickname as an official name after the 2002 general elections.

Muranga Governor Francis Mwangi also changed his to his nickname, Mwangi wa Iria after gaining fame during his tenure at Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC) and was nicknamed Iria, a Kikuyu word for milk.

He was thus called Mwangi wa Iria (Mwangi the Milkman).

The process of changing names gets even more cumbersome as years advance.

According to the rules set by the Registrar of Persons, changing a child’s name after the registration of birth can only be done before two years elapse after birth.

Past two years, a parent can only add a name without deleting or changing.

With a deed poll, you can change your forenames and/or surname, add names, remove names or rearrange your existing names.

Here are the steps one needs to take:

1. You can change your name at any time and for any reason provided it is not to deceive or defraud or to avoid an obligation.

2. If a married person makes an application for a change of name, then their spouse has to give consent to the proposed change of name.

3. For a separated person, a certificate from an advocate that s/he is living separate from their spouse is required.

4. If the applicant is divorced then their certificate of marriage or evidence of marriage together with decree absolute or certificate of divorce will be required, to facilitate the change of name.

Once all the legal requirements are concluded, the deed poll is registered at the Principal Registry in Nairobi or the Coast Registry.

The registrar shall after registration advertise in the Kenya Gazette as a notification to the public of the change of name.

The registrar may refuse to accept a change of name, if:

1. The change is impossible to pronounce

2. Includes numbers, symbols or punctuation marks

3. Chosen names are vulgar, offensive or blasphemous.

4. Other names that can be rejected are those that promote criminal activities, racial or religious hatred or use of controlled drugs.

5. Other names that cannot be registered are those that ridicule people, groups, Government departments, companies or organisations.

6. Names that may result in belief that you have a conferred or inherited honour, title, rank or academic award, for example, a change of first name to Sir, Lord, Lady, Prince, Princess, viscount, Baron, Baroness, General, Captain, Professor or Doctor.