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Luhya elders fault Matrimonial Property Bill

By By Bryan Tumwa | November 18th 2013

By Bryan Tumwa

BUSIA, KENYA: The Luhya Elders forum has expressed opposition to the Matrimonial Property Bill on grounds that it did not specify the fate of children in case of a marriage annulment.

Patrick Wangamati, the forum’s chairman said the bill dealt primarily with property and left out the fate of children in case the family unit is broken. He said the clan, led by the father bore the rights to remain with the children in case a union between a man and his wife is dissolved.

“Children have not been considered in this bill because it has dwelt on property alone. However, we want amendments to include provisions which ensure that children remain with the clan in case of separation. We will not endorse the bill unless it puts this into consideration,” said Wangamati.

Wangamati was speaking in Emauko Village, Marachi East Sub- location when he led other members of the forum to visit Gerald Masuvai, a former member of the forum from the region who is currently ailing.

Busia Women Representative Florence Mutua noted that the bill only supported the working class woman at the expense of the housewives whose contribution to the marriage could not be quantified in monetary terms.

“The bill only supports the working class woman but it has not factored in housewives and their labor. Male MPs did not put this into consideration because some contributions cannot be put into monetary terms despite the fact that they are critical,” said Mutua.

The leaders asked president Uhuru not to assent to the bill and instead allow the house to amend it to factor in improvements once the contentious issues are resolved. The bill has ignited debate in the country since it was passed by the National Assembly prompting calls for its amendment from several quarters.


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