MPs explain polygamy in Domestic Relations Bill

Entebbe, Uganda - Members of Parliament have said the Domestic Relations Bill (DRB) will not discredit polygamy but only states conditions to be met before a man marries more than one wife.

They said polygamy remains entrenched in the DRB and supported by some sections of society but the economic ability to support an additional wife should be a major condition before a man marries another wife.

This was at a retreat for the MPs on the Bill in Entebbe recently. The MP for Mwenge South, Ms Dora Byamukama said, “There is need to pass laws that regulate polygamy either limiting the number of wives to one or two or placing conditions to be met before marrying another wife.”

She said the DRB would continue to recognise monogamous and polygamous marriages.

The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee chairman and MP for Omoro County, Mr Jacob Oulanyah, said although abolishing polygamy may not be feasible, there was need to regulate it with a view to discourage the practice in the long term.

The MP for Nakawa, Mr Fred Ruhindi, said the law should seek to ensure that any subsequent marriage does not reduce the basic standard of living of the existing family and there is a need for non-legal interventions to sensitise the public on issues such as HIV/Aids.