By Michael Aboneka
A few weeks ago, the public was shocked with news that over 1000 couples’ marriages were null and void as the place of worship that purportedly celebrated the marriage was not licensed and gazetted to do the same. There has been a lot of storm on this matter and notwithstanding this, the Church has not made any comment as to the future of the affected Couples.
I have received numerous calls and messages concerning this issue and I think it is unfortunate that the Church, which is supposed to exemplify truth and honesty chose to wed couples well knowing that they had not been licensed and gazetted at the time they conducted the marriages. It will be justifiable for all the couples to sue the Church for damages and other reliefs.
In another turn of the events, it has been reported that the MPs raised this issue on the floor of Parliament and the Government’s response was that the position of the law takes precedence and therefore all the couples must re-do their vows before a legally recognized entity. But again, the Church has not said anything, their silence is so sickening that has left the couples with no option. I strongly condemn these acts of selfishness and unrighteousness exhibited by the Church and the Church leaders and the Church leadership should be held liable for this mess.
I have made research and realized that there are many other churches that have conducted the weddings yet without the license. Many are Born-Again Churches, SDA and Anglican.
For the sake f the Public, we are going to publish this list so that we save the future couples from such similar occurrences. I have always beseeched couples who intend to marry to always consult on the legalese of conducting marriage and man have ignored this advice and go on to splash millions of money on a fake function.
Couples should always conduct a search to find out whether the place they are to wed is duly licensed by law or not before they go ahead to pay millions. This saves a great deal. It is also important that it becomes a life style for everyone to seek legal advise on all maters that have dire consequences.
I am hoping that the Church is working on practical solutions for the Couples in this situation and I also hope that they will pay for all the costs that will be needed to rectify this mess otherwise, the Church will have robbed from its own congregants.
I also beseech all churches and other religious institutions to adhere to the law to the latter because they are not immune to the laws of Uganda and neither have they been exempted especially from the Marriage legal regime.
Partner:Thomas & Michael Advocates
Director: Envirogreen Trust Ltd
Member: World Youth Alliance & Young African Activists Network (YAAN)
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