Rukiga District Member of Parliament Hon Caroline Kamusiime Muhwezi has warned that the proposed Marriage Bill (2017) which is set to return to the parliament floor will not help in solving marital problems, but instead will tear families apart.
Kamusiime said during the weekend that the bill, which has the backing of Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, is likely to embolden women to kick up trouble in their own homes.
The MP noted that many families have broken down because of women who think that family issues can be sorted by dragging every challenge that comes up to courts of law.
The bill, which had been shelved for a number of years, is according to experts, intended to “breathe life into rulings of Ugandan courts on matters of maintenance, grounds for divorce, bride price, widow inheritance and parental consent.”
It among others outlaws widow inheritance, and provides for Prenuptial Agreements, Matrimonial rights and obligations, property rights, equal access to matrimonial property, divorce, separation and distribution of property.
Speaking as guest of honour at a thanksgiving event at Nyabirerema Archdeaconry Church of Uganda in Muhanga town council on Sunday, MP Kamusiime told the women in the congregation that with or without the new law, they shouldn’t forget their responsibilities as mothers and wives.
“As women, if we don’t appreciate what took us to marriages, there is going to be a problem,” she said.
“It is us women that build families; men do not make mistakes. My fellow women, you cannot leave the house when your husband is not happy.”
The MP added, “Our families have got and will always have problems and misunderstandings, but these cannot be fixed by a piece of legislation. Running to courts of law will not fix your problems; it will break your family.”
Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga recently promised to have the Marriage Bill on the order paper in this very parliamentary session.
The bill, which was introduced in 2009, came under criticism from religious and other conservative groups and was shelved as a result.
In July 2017, the Uganda Law Reform Commission changed its name from the “Marriage and Divorce Bill” to the “Marriage Bill”.
The divorce item that had qualified cohabitation as full matrimony and prescribed that parties should have equal rights to share property in case of dissolution, was removed.