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Fr. Lokodo warns of fake marriage churches

Fr. Simon Lokodo, the Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity addresses press at Uganda Media Centre recently. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA -Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity, Fr. Simon Lokodo has warned couples intending to get into holy marriage to ascertain whether the personnel and institutions where they intend to exchange vows are duly mandated to conduct such ceremonies.

Fr. Lokodo’s warning was in response to media reports that revealed that 1000 weddings at Church of the Resurrection in Bugolobi under Church of Uganda, Kampala Diocese are considered illegal because by the time their weddings were conducted, the church was not duly registered by law.

The reports indicated that the couples whose marriages are affected whose weddings were conducted between 2006 and 2016 when the religious institution had not been officially gazetted to administer the holy marriages

Now Lokodo  is concerned that it is now common that anybody jumps up to wed the couples at any place of their wish despite the fact that there legalized places and specific people that the ministry of justice authorized to conduct the activity.

“The Ministry of Justice provides for identification and authorization of specific places and persons who can conduct weddings, but today, anybody jumps u[p and say I can wed, this makes those weddings completely null and void. And so if people are going for weddings, they should know that that person is authorized or not, if not, you are wasting your time,” said Lokodo.

Section 5 of Uganda Marriage Act 1904 stipulates that the Minister of Justice may license any place of public worship to be a place for the celebration of marriages and may at any time cancel such license.

Meanwhile, Minister Lokodo has given an update on the Religious faith-based organization policy that is meant to monitor and regulate religious institutions which he says it now stands at 80% draft and this will give a general guideline on how these have to conduct themselves.

“The policy is at 80% ready next week we shall be having a high-level validation workshop to follow what happened last month. The consultant has incorporated all that had been raised that could be seen as amendments proposed earlier and that would be laid before the meeting,” said Lokodo.

The policy that is cross-cutting in all religions is also meant to tame of errant members of faith organizations, who use the pulpit to extort their followers’ even tangible items.

The Minister described as wrong perception for those tried to fight the proposed amendments, “It is wrong perception, it is simply because probably they are the ones in the wrong, majority of them jump from nowhere ad do those bad things. How do you tell people to kiss your feet? Really that is blasphemy, you should be a servant not a god. How do you tell people to abandon social services because you say God will protect you, how do you go to church and tell people to give everything they have even their transport money. These are the errant ones and they come from the born again sector.”

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