Pastor Joseph Sserwada, the leader of the Born Again Community in Uganda has called for the passing of the Marriage and Divorce Bill which he says has been on the shelves for long.
Speaking at the Parliament Inter-Faith Prayer Breakfast on Tuesday, 21 January 2020, Pastor Sserwada said that one of the things disturbing the peace of the believers and followers of God is the absence of a robust and clear law on Marriage.
“Recently we saw a Pastor whose marriage was on the rocks making derogatory statements and acting irresponsibly against the institution of marriage,” Sserwada said, adding that, “we need Parliament to come up with Act to guard against watering down of the institution of marriage.”
The prayers are held as part of the Parliament Week which is running from 20 to 25 January 2020.
Sserwada said that the current marriage laws address very little in respect to the prerequisites of the other religious institutions in the country with the exception of the Muslims that are protected by law to have an exclusive right for marriage designed around their faith.
“There is need for a law that is tailored to and caters for marriage of people in other religious denominations, something that is absent in both the current laws on marriage and the proposed Marriage and Divorce law,” he added.
The 2009 Marriage and Divorce Bill seeks to reform and consolidate the law relating to marriage, separation and divorce; to provide for the types of recognised marriages in the country and marital rights and duties.
The Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga said that having the church’s support will go a long way in pushing for the Bill that has met the resistance of ‘patriarchs in positions of power’.
“It is the religious institutions that never supported us in the beginning when we brought the current Bill; the laws that exist are outdated having been imported here during the British rule more than 50 years ago,” she added.
She said that Mozambique and Kenya which are comparably macho societies legislated for their citizens, friendly and conducive laws.
Kadaga urged the political and religious leaders to open up to discussing the Marriage and Divorce Bill.
The main celebrant, Fr. Raymond Kalanzi who stood in for Archbishop Cyprian kizito Lwanga urged the Members of Parliament to promote peace which should be hinged on justice, equality and prosperity.
“We will experience peace and harmony if we promote reconciliation, transformation and liberation,” Fr. Kalanzi said.
He added that anyone who accepts reconciliation will experience transformation which is change and anyone who resists it is an enemy of peace.
“With transformation,” Fr. Kalanzi said, “comes liberation”.