22 March 2013

Uganda: Parliament 'Wasting Time' On Marriage Bill - Lokodo

Parliament should shelve the contentious Marriage and Divorce Bill indefinitely, state minister for ethics and integrity Rev. Fr. Simon Lokodo has said.

He said Parliament was divided and wasting time over the contentious clause of legalising cohabiting in the bill.

"The bill has been there for over 30 years. They are just wasting tax payers' money. It should be quashed and Parliament should divert its attention to other pending issues. The cohabiting clause making parliamentarians not to sleep will promote undesired behaviour," Lokodo said.

He was addressing members of the civil society during the sixth anti-corruption public partnership collaboration review workshop at the Crested Crane Hotel in Jinja this week.

The workshop was attended by officials from the Inspectorate of Government, Director of Public Prosecutions, office of the Auditor General, Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets and the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department.

Lokodo said: "Cohabiting is illegal, it has made relatives force people into marriages. Why is Parliament dwelling on the cohabiting clause so much? This is where the interests of homosexuality lie. How can you see your child walk into a ditch and you say; let him try his luck?"

He noted that the Bill will promote commercialisation of marriages because of bride price, adding that this was against certain cultures in the country.

"In northern Uganda, paying bride price is done from the depth of one's heart and the whole clan has to contribute. If a couple separates, who do you think has the time to reorganise the bride price to be given back," Lokodo asked.

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