Otafiire Asks MPs To Go Slow On Marriage and Divorce Bill

1373 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
According to Otafiire, while the law is needed, there should be careful consideration on the cultural concerns raised by different parties on the bill.

The Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Major General Kahinda Otafiire has cautioned women activists and legislators to go slow on the Marriage and Divorce Bill.

  
The bill, which has been on the shelves for over forty years, seeks to prohibit widow inheritance, consolidate the laws relating to marriage, separation and divorce among others. 


The drafts were shelved following wide condemnation from a section of religious leaders and members of the public who argued that some of the proposals were alien to the African culture.


According to Otafiire, while the law is needed, there should be careful consideration on the cultural concerns raised by different parties on the bill.
 

//Cue In: We must travel...
Cue Out:...deal with the others//
 

Otafiire who was meeting with MPs on the Human Rights committee, was responding to questions raised by Kumi Woman MP, Monica Amoding, who wondered why government has failed to own the controversial bill.
 

//Cue In: You need...
Cue Out:...moving forward//
 

Other legislators, including Gilbert Olanya, Kilak South MP, said some cultures are deeply embedded, including the condemned wife beating, which drew anger from the committee chairperson, Jovah Kamateeka.



//Cue In: In my culture...
Cue Out:...government bill//



Otafiire took issue with religious leaders, whom he accused of running away from the realities of divorce and cohabitation.  
 

//Cue In: The churches and mosques...
Cue Out:...car I am driving//  
 

Before it was shelved by the 9th Parliament, 23 out of 178 clauses in the bill had been approved. Early last year, the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga urged Parliament to reconsider the bill more soberly and pass it into law. 
 

 

About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.