The Marriage and Divorce Bill is one of the most debated laws in the history of Uganda having languished in Parliament for almost 5 decades. One of the main reasons why the Bill has been shelved every time it comes before Parliament is that it has faced stiff resistance from traditionalists, Muslims and Christians alike. The law is intended to reform and consolidate the law relating to marriage, separation and divorce in Uganda and therefore addresses issues like property, bride price and polygamy which are issues that understandably get people riled up. This analysis is an attempt to cool down tempers and return the discussion to cold hard facts and the issues the law addresses.
It discusses the most contentious issues raised in public discussions of the Bill which are; cohabitation, bride price, property sharing and divorce. It analyzes the way these issues have been addressed in previous versions of the bill and in the current version. Contentious issues which have been mostly resolved through a provision in the bill such as matrimonial property are pointed out. The Bill in its current state still raises a number of human rights issues, however, the consensus among activists who have been working to get the law passed seems to be that in the very least, we need the law to be passed. This analysis recognizes the compromises that have been made on the road to getting the Bill to where it is now.
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