MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE BILL: Residents Block MPs from Presenting bill

Residents of Kole district have refused to discuss the marriage and divorce bill 2009 saying it will cause more harm than good in families. On Sunday, Fred Ebil, the Kole county MP and Joy Ruth Achieng, the Kole district woman MP convened a consultative meeting on the marriage and divorce bill 2009. The MPs invited religious, cultural, local leaders, the business communities and residents from the six sub counties in the district to give their views on the bill. However, the 1500 participants unanimously blocked the MPs from presenting the bill and directed them to vehemently oppose it.

Robert Oming Ajuru, the LC councilor Bala Sub County says once passed into law, the marriage and divorce bill would cause more harm than good. Oming argues that there is no need for the enactment of another law saying that because the issue of divorce is already addressed in the marriage act. Deborah Ojwiny, a resident of Kole town council demanded that parliament halts the proceedings on the marriage and divorce bill. She said once passed into law, the marriage and divorce bill will promote divorce because many young women are ill mannered.

Ojwiny says that bill favors women, adding that some of them may use it to grab property from their partners. Ceaser Alaju, the LCIII chairperson Bala Sub County warns parliament against passing the bill. Rev. Boniface Opio, a religious leader asked the legislators not to waste time consulting on the bill which he described as useless. Without substantiating, he claimed the widely contested bill is being sponsored by gay rights activities. we could not independently verify these claims. Andrew Awany Kole, the Kole district NRM administrative secretary says the bill should not be discussed in parliament because there is no problem in the customary marriage practices.

Denis Obol, the Kole district Vice LCV chairperson questioned the integrity of the 9thparliament. Obol said the arguments of some of the legislators in favor of the bill, makes them appear detached from the reality on the ground. Fred Ebil, the Kole county MP has thrown his weight behind his electorate saying that they will present their resolution to parliament. He assured the voters that he will not be part of the bill, adding that as people of Lango they can never support such a divisive law.

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