The Uganda Women Network (UWONET) yesterday held a reflection and strategizing meeting with Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) on the two amendment bills that are before Parliament that would directly affect women in the country.
These are, the Marriage and Divorce Bill 2017 and the Constitution Amendment Bill 2017 which seeks to amend article 26 which provides for the compulsory acquisition of land by government.
After facing a lot of resistance from different groups, the Marriage and Divorce Bill has since been revised by the Uganda Law Reform Commission to ‘The Marriage Bill’.
The legislators and the different women organizations discussed how best the bills can be passed with amendments to ensure that women are not affected.
UWOPA Chairperson and Kumi Woman MP, Monica Amoding noted that the group is planning an amendment into the Compulsory Land acquisition bill to ensure that family rights in regard to compensation are upheld.
The NRM caucus recently resolved to amend the initial position of the bill to provide for depositing the compensation with the property owner as opposed to Court.
Amoding noted that this is a good amendment but should provide for mutual consent of all family members since they are all beneficiaries, to avoid many people becoming homeless.
“If we are to pass that land acquisition amendment bill, much as we need government to continue with its projects, we need to ensure that compensation is given to the family not to a single individual,” Amoding said.
“As women, we have noted that problems might arise after compensation where the owner of the land who might be the family head, may get the compensation and take it as an individual; though the land might be owned by one individual, there are other beneficiaries on land.”
The legislator argued that once the compensation is given to a single person without the knowledge of the other family members, this person might choose to misuse the money like marrying other women or drinking.
“We shall bring an amendment to see to it that families don’t turn up to be homeless just in the benefit of one individual.”