By JEFF ANDREW LULE
Religious leaders under their umbrella body, Uganda Inter Religious Council (UIRC), have called on Parliament to carry out more consultations on the controversial Marriage and Divorce Bill before it’s enacted into law.
At new conference in Kampala, the Archbishop of Church of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali cautioned Parliament against rushing the Bill, stressing that it might divide the country.
He said they must go slow about the Bill to enable then generate consensus.
“We are in prayer to see that we get a better position on this Bill to take care of the marriage institution. Marriage is a foundation of unity in our country. If it is passed carelessly, we might get problems in future,” he noted.
Ntagali said Parliament needs more time to carry out consultations countrywide to come out with a good law that unites all sections of people.
He stressed that religious leaders from different sects and other stakeholders must be consulted to give their views on the bill to come out with a harmonious law.
He added that religious leaders had not been extensively consulted on the Bill as alleged by several individuals in Parliament.
“We need an embracing law for all groups and faiths. We do not want to divide the country. No need to rush because if a family institution is not well handled, we cannot have a stable society,” he said.
Ntagali also stressed that the cohabitation clause should not even have surfaced anywhere in the Bill because it has never been marriage at anyone moment.
“It is good the cohabitation clause was finally scrapped. It was wastage of time because also the church does not recognize it and will never. We only know religious, civil and traditional marriage,” he said.
The director of ministerial and family life for the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church, Pastor Samuel Kajoba said the law needs to come out clearly on divorce to avoid regrets in future.
“It does not show when divorce should be done and this is dangerous to our society. It does not show how we can help the families to stay together before the divorce. You know very well the church does not believe in divorce. These things are important,” Kajoba noted.
He said if the Bill is passed in its current form, it is likely to promote domestic violence and moral degeneration in among the communities.
Kajoba said Parliament needs to study the Bill carefully to check the various clauses, consult religious leaders and other stakeholders around the country to avoid regrets.