Christian clerics have blamed Parliament for wanting to pass the Marriage and Divorce Bill ‘yet it’s against the Christian faith’.
The Bill – formerly called Domestic Relations Bill – has been in the House since 2009.
In order to simplify it for Ugandans, Parliament split it into three; Sexual Offences Bill 2015, the Muslim Personal Bill and the Marriage and Divorce Bill.
The Sexual Offences Bill was withdrawn from the floor due to the several loopholes while the Muslim Personal Bill has never been introduced.
On Wednesday this week, the second reading of Marriage and Divorce Bill in Parliament was postponed to allow more time for review.
This after Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana asked for two more months to carry out the consultations with stakeholders who include; government, Uganda Law Reform Commission and legislators on the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
“I am shy to present this Bill for the Second Reading. I need two months for consultations and I advise that we should not rush, we need time to reach a consensus,” he told the House.
Now some Christian clerics have claimed that the two Bills – Sexual Offences and Muslim Personal – are okay but the Marriage and Divorce Bill is uncalled for and should not be passed nor Parliament should waste time on it.
According to Monsignor Gerald Kalumba of Christ the King, Kampala Parish, just because moral decadence has eaten up the country, even Parliament has been dragged into officialising the sin of divorce.
“Uganda is a country that fears and worships the God of Bible. That is why even our Motto and the National Anthem are prayers. But when such a Bill is passed, a curse may befall. Parliament must be warned,” he said.
He instead advised Parliament to help the church to build a country.
“This Bill will damage Christian believers; families will be affected which in turn will affect the country economically, socially and politically,” he said.
On his part, Pastor Joseph Serwadda of Victory Church in Ndeeba said the Bill intends to ‘separate’ and ‘to cause pain’ in families in Uganda.
“In the Bible, marriage is blessed and couples are expected to live together till death separates them but the law legislates for divorce and sharing of property which is against the Bible, this may even lead to an increase in family breakups,” Serwadda, also chairperson of the Born Again Pentecostal Churches, said.
However, another cleric said ever since prominent pastors such as Bishop David Kiganda of Christianity Focus Centre divorced and remarried, it’s now very hard for the church to fight against the divorce bill.
“We lost the moral authority (to discuss this topic) when top leaders in church violated what they preached against 15 years ago. Look at Pastor Aloysius Bugingo who has filed divorce papers for example. How can you blame Parliament which is trying to make it smoother yet some of your members are practising it,” the cleric, who asked to remain anonymous, said.
However, according to vice Chairman Uganda Muslim Youth Assembly (UMYA), divorce in Muslim culture is allowed since the Quran supports it.
“Islam supports divorce but a man is supposed to stay with a woman for over four months without any conjugal rights. If a man dares to ask for conjugal the divorce is then nullified,” he said.
The Imam of Mawanga added that whether the Parliament passes the law or not in Islam divorce is allowed and many people have done it.