Last year Hon. Sarah Opendi was mandated to introduce a Private Member Bill titled ‘Marriage Bill’ which has been dragging. During the plenary sitting yesterday 16th May at Parliament, the MP returned with exciting challenging measures in the amendment of the bill which stattled the house. Sarah suggested a time frame of between 6-24 months on Cohabitation after which they are legally acknowledged as married couples.
Ms. Opendi who concluded her consultation on the matter adds that it’s disrespectful for a man to live with someone’s daughter for 10 years while not legally registered as a married couple, though for these to happen, a clause binding the action must be in place.
Though the Tororo District Woman MP claims time limit on Cohabitation can aid in marriage, will the religious affiliations and churches agree to it? Cohabitation whether limited by time is still considered an immoral act and condemned by many churches as Marriage is the only acceptable relationship between a man and woman. Uniquely, this bill preceeded the anti-homosexuality Bill 2023 which was and still detested by many who believe morals surpasses all.
In traditional Africa, Cohabitation was punishable especially when children were involved through fines and purification rituals stating clearly that it’s immoral and disrespectful. However, many in the present argue that limited resources ie failure to raise bride price is the most deterring reason for no marriage between couples. Though it’s important to note as said by Opendi that marriage is a decision, other reasons are Secondary.
As we wait for the final bill amendment, let’s not materialise and glamourise Marriage giving a definite excuse of not taking vows.