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You can’t divorce before the end of a year, suggests Marriage Bill

Vaseline 2 months ago

A spouse who is willing to divorce his partner can only do so after one year, according to the proposals of the Marriage Act (2022), which aims to introduce reforms and strengthen the laws regarding marriage and separation of property consolidate.

The bill was introduced by Sarah Opendi, a woman MP from Tororo, who got permission from the House to review it and come up with a law that would affect all recognized marriages in Uganda, including Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Baha’i marriages. others.

“Marriages take place in communities, but most of them are not registered. We want a formal registration of all marriages; the bill is intended to bring order in the society and also ensure that marriages take place in an organized manner,” she said in an earlier interview.

It is now suggested that you cannot divorce within a year, from a whole series of proposals, according to parliament’s legal director Susan Katono.

“The bill aims to make it difficult to get in and out of marriage; the bill strengthens marriage,” she told a regional lobby and consultative meeting in Busoga Lukiiko (parliament) in the city of Jinja on Friday.

Katono said wider consultations have not produced any justification as to why district marriage in Uganda should be monogamous.

The proposal, she says, is therefore to make civil marriages polygamous.

“It was realized that civil marriages are a creation of colonial masters who did not believe in polygamy until now, and therefore when filling forms, there is no room for two wives, but for one,” she added.

When performing a wedding, other proposals include requiring both parties to be physically present – and not marrying someone with a photo or frame, Katono said.

“What we recognize is that people go abroad to work and want to get married. This (proposal) was given to us by Muslims; so you can do a Nikah online (video call). The law is flexible,” she explained.

Parliament Legal Director Susan Katono speaks during a regional lobby and consultation meeting on the Marriage Act in Jinja City on April 19, 2024. PHOTO/PHILIP WAFULA

She further noted that the law restricts marriages to churches with cement, but the law appreciates that God is not only present in the church building and wants this to take place everywhere, even at home.

However, they ensure that whoever consummates the marriage must have a government permit to sign the certificate.

According to Katono, another proposal calls for making deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing subject to a court order, while the return of wedding gifts is illegal and carries a fine of five coins or a prison sentence of up to three years, or both.

Justification of marriage or a person falsely claiming or pretending to be married to a particular person, and pretending to be married, including holding hands, living together, having children and taking the man’s name , are all violations.

Other offenses include violating the promise to marry, where the promise must have been made expressly or by conduct.

The meeting attracted cultural leaders from Busoga Kingdom, local leaders, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), media and Girls and Young Women (GYW) from the sub-region, to raise their voices on the Marriage Bill.

The meeting was organized by the consortium The She Leads, in collaboration with Uganda Women’s Parliamentary Association (UWOPA).

Butembe Chief Deputy Speaker Deborah Mutesi Magezi said the bill must provide safeguards to protect spouses from manipulation by “inactive partners”.

“Some men appear to be hardworking, very helpful and humble to the public, but they are not,” while some men marry hardworking women who earn money and start development projects that will be considered marital assets,” she said. Monitor in an interview on Saturday.

Mutesi further warned that the bill would make spouses more vulnerable and prone to domestic violence, citing a case where property once owned by one partner becomes marital property.

“In our culture, it is men who propose marriage, but what if a woman wants to leave the marriage and owns all the property, but the man is not ready for a divorce, has many children and has no savings?” she asked.

Katono had previously hinted that most of the suggestions come from civil society groups.