The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has called on government to present and hasten the passing of bills which address challenges associated with domestic relations.
Kadaga said there are amendments that the courts recommended to the existing laws but the added that the executive has not introduced them to Parliament.
“We have a number of judgments that have been handed down to the Marriage Act such as the grounds for divorce,p; I expected the Attorney General to move faster and abide by the decisions of the court but he has not,” Kadaga said.
Kadaga said that the minister had also been silent on some of the bills relating to domestic relations that were tabled before Parliament..
“As you know this Marriage and Divorce act, the minister responsible is afraid to come to the Parliament. I put it on the order paper hoping that the minister will wake up and say this is my responsibility but he has not,” said Kadaga.
The Speaker said that whereas Parliament is mandated to move such amendments through private members, there are financial implications on some legislations that require funding by government. Kadaga said it is therefore prudent that government leads that legislative process.
“I do not know whether private members can move all those amendments successfully yet they are supposed to be implemented by government. There is an issue on whether the amendments we make have a financial implication,” she said.
Kadaga made these remarks while opening the 3rd Annual Muslim Human Rights Conference, organized by Muslim Centre for Justice and Law at Imperial Royale Hotel, on Wednesday, 24 November 2020.
She is also concerned that the Kadhi’s courts whose mandate includes settling domestic disputes, have not been supported to operate on a larger scale.
“The Kadhi court is provided for in the constitution; for it to function, we need a budget to take care of salaries and putting up facilities. It is now 20 years and it has never been effected,” Kadaga said.
The President of the Muslim Centre for Justice and Law, Umar Nyanzi said that in their efforts to help the poor to access justice, they are challenged in courts of laws when they fail to identify the laws under which certain cases can be adjudicated.
“Without a proper law,, the vulnerable persons cannot get justice. We have tried to assist indigent persons access justice but in most cases, the judge will ask you to cite the law under which the vulnerable person is protected,”said Nyanzi adding that, “the existing laws have not been amended and we think it is high time that is done”.
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