Barbra Babwetera the Executive Director Cross Cultural Foundation Uganda (CCFU)
by Prisca Oroma
For the past 40 years the marriage and divorce bill has been on the floor of parliament and it has never seen the light of day and this has been attributed to lack of popularization of the bill.
Speaking during a meeting with stakeholders, Robert Omito Steen, the District chairperson Pakwach, said that the marriage bill is good but it has been poorly marketed and greatly misinterpreted by the law makers therefore it is time to involve the cultural and religious leaders to help in popularizing the bill.
“I have taken time to read this bill and I see nothing wrong because it is for the benefit of both men and women of which the fear was that it only favors the women therefore there is need for this bill to be translated in the local language so that people can read and understand it before they can accept it” he said.
He said that there is also need to sensitize the religious and cultural leaders so that they are able to pass on the right information.
Akoka Olei Clan leader Palei noted that according to the research, the bill is a good bill but it has not been popularized coupled with the fact that cultural and religious leaders were left out.
“As cultural leaders we are going to take this up and make sure that we talk to our people on the benefit of this bill because I see it will be of good help in solving marriage related issues” he said
Rev.Fr Bernard Abanga the parish priest Nebbi cathedral parish said that there is no doubt that the bill is good but there are people in Uganda who fight good laws for their own benefit and that is why the bill has taken this long yet if passed it would help a lot in solving some of the dynamics destroying marriages.
“For this bill to succeed a lot of information should be given to the religious and cultural leaders since the law makers are not telling people the truth about the bill and that is why they are not accepting it” he noted.
Barbra Babwetera the Executive Director Cross Cultural Foundation Uganda (CCFU) said that they realized that the religious and cultural leaders have been left out and that is why they now want to work with them so that they can give the right information to the people and market it.
“We conducted a research about the contentious issues in the bill with the different cultural institutions and found out that the bill is in line with our cultures” she said
She said that people should rub the negative perception that this bill is for women which is not true but there has generally been misinformation about the bill and collective marketing is needed for it to be passed next time it is taken back to the floor of parliament.