By Godfrey Olukya 7-3-2013
SOME UGANDAN MPs BACK CERTAIN CLAUSE ON MARITAL RAPE
Although a section of members of parliament and most women have backed the clause on marital rape in the on going debate on domestic bill saying that it’s urgently needed, most Ugandan men have opposed it saying it is hopeless.
The clause in marriage and divorce bill calls for a five-year-term imprisonment for men that engage in marital rape and a fine not exceeding 2.5 million Uganda shillings (equivalent of 1000 US dollars.)
‘In African culture there is no marital rape.’ said Apolo Mukalazi a school teacher in Kampala.’It is unfortunate that our legislators are copying western culture and making laws that will oppress us. I have never heard of marital rape among African families.’ he added.
Alfred Okong, a mechanic in Gulu town in northern Uganda said, ‘I have lived with my wife for over ten tears but at times when she is not in the mood, I somehow force her to have sex with me. She has never complained to anyone. If such laws are put in place, I might end up in prison. I do not support it at all.’
But most women support the law saying that some men rape their wives a few days after giving birth.
Rebecca Namuddu a medical officer said, ‘It is common to admit women who develop complications after their husbands have forced them into sex a few days after giving birth. Some women even die from such complications. So the law is necessary to punish such selfish men.’
Members of parliament Robert Sebunya, Mariam Nalubega and Milton Muwuma among others told a press conference at parliament in Kampala that some men sexually harass their wives under the influence of alcohol and should be punished so as to eliminate
They say that marital rape has left many women dead and others with permanent injuries the cases that should not be left unattended to and the culprits punished.
Most members of the public however, argue that there will be difficulties in proving marital rape especially in cases involving married people.