Local governments should issue certificates to couples who marry under customary law to protect women’s rights to inherit property in case their husbands die, the Mbarara Woman MP has said.
“Marriage registration certificates would help and be used as legal documents to safeguard and ensure right of ownership of property in case the partner passes on which will also contribute to reduction in property grabbing and at times chasing away of widows by inlaws to gain control of their property,” Ms Emma Boona said.
She was at the weekend addressing leaders of Rugando Sub-county in Rwampara County, Mbarara District on settling community challenges, including domestic violence and disputes over family property.
The officer in-charge of Mbarara Police Station, Mr Abby Ngako, said it was risky for a woman to get married to a man and stay without any formal document from her parents and sub-county of origin to prove that she is married.
“Producing children alone doesn’t guarantee a woman to be a wife to the man,” Mr Ngako said.
He urged parents of women married under customary law to write formal letters declaring their consent to the union and have them signed by witnesses and endorsed by local council chairpersons.
He said such documents help to get government marriage registration certificate from the sub-county. “In most African cultures, in-laws have made it a habit to grab property and expel widows when they lose their husbands. Even other unknown women emerge and claim property. With such documents, most conflicts can be settled quickly,” he said.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor