By Ahura Mujuni Mark
The Members of Parliament have been sent back to their constituencies to consult on the controversial Marriage and Divorce Bill which is currently being discussed in the house .
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga sent MPs for a two week recess yesterday to consult their constituents especially on controversial clauses in the Bill especially on cohabitation ,Bride Price ,and sharing property between couples.
The MPs will also consult religious leaders in their constituencies on the conflicting clauses.
Parliament commenced the discussions on the Marriage and Divorce Bill that seeks among others to reform and consolidate the law relating to marriage, separation and divorce. Debate on the bill commenced with some legislators rallying for cohabitation to be recognized as a form of marriage.
The bill tabled in December 2009 provides for the types of recognized marriages in Uganda, marital rights and duties, recognition of cohabitation in relation to property rights, sets grounds for breakdown of marriage, and provides for rights of parties on dissolution of marriage.
It deals with widow inheritance and separation, but also outlaws demands for return of marriage gifts given as bride price.
There was excitement from sections of the House as the bill that has been under consideration over the last 47 years was tabled for consideration by the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Hon. Freddie Ruhindi.
The bill is a product of a comprehensive study by the Uganda Law Reform Commission and similar studies including the Commission of Inquiry into the Marriage, Divorce and Status of Women (Kalema Report) of 1965.