Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana said he was too shy to report on the status of the bill since it has taken too long. He says that although the bill was expected to come in for a second reading, the wide nature of consultations required, implying that they might take more time in order to ensure that all interests are catered for.
The Law Reform Commission has changed the name of the Marriage and Divorce Bill into Marriage Bill. Cohabitation which was at the centre of the controversy when the bill was first introduced has been removed. The bill previously stated that even in a cohabitation relationship, the parties had the right to share property.
Museveni was speaking at the launch of the National Policy on Elimination of Gender Based Violence in Uganda, an event that coincided with the start of 16 Days of Activism, a global campaign against Gender-Based Violence.
The Marriage and Divorce Bill seeks to prohibit widow inheritance, grants certain rights to cohabiting couples and equalizes prejudiced divorce provisions which granted absolute rights to men. It was designed in part to improve womens rights in marriage and to reform and consolidate the laws relating to marriage, separation and divorce.
He also implores Parliament to prioritize and expedite the much anticipated debate on constitutional reforms. This, he adds, will streamline the road to 2016, when Ugandans go to the polls, to elect a new president, members of parliament and local government leaders.
NUDIPU say a law on cohabitation would protect many people with disabilities who are in relationships with able bodied partners. The law would ensure their offspring especially are not rejected upon the death of the able bodied partner.
Parliament has been sent on early Easter holiday recess to enable MPS to also consult on the now controversial marriage and Divorce Bill. The action follows growing demands by political and religious leaders to have more time to consult on the bill.
Enid Tuhirirwe, wife to former Primary Health Care minister James Kakooza, has filed for divorce before Makindye Magistrates Court. Tuhirirwe, a mother of 2 says she wants court to dissolve her 4 year old marriage to the Kabula County MP on grounds of adultery and cruelty.