KAMPALA – A new law is in the offing that would see couples jailed for marital rape.
Fronted by Monica Amoding (Kumi Woman MP), the legislator took to the floor of Parliament on Tuesday afternoon and tabled the Sexual Offences Bill 2019, which seeks to criminalise marital rape with offenders set to face one year in jail.
While tabling the Bill, Amoding took a swipe at the Ministry of Finance for failing to issue her with a certificate of financial implication saying when it comes to issue of gender, the Ministry wants those behind the gender activism beg, crawl and even shout and asked Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to allow her table the bill because the 60 days within which the Ministry was meant to issue the certificate had elapsed.
She said that the Sexual Offences Bill 2019 is geared towards consolidating laws related to sexual offences and combat sexual violence in Uganda. She added that the Bill touches the tiniest of the sexual offences boasts of 38 sections and is top on the agenda of the bills to be considered in October 2017 by the Legal and Parliamentary Committee.
The Bill notes that a person who forcefully performs sexual act against another person, without consent and even if the consent was obtained, if it were found to be through force or by means of threats.
Intimidation of any kind or by fear of bodily harm, or by means of false representations as to the nature of the act or in case of a married person by personating his or her spouse commits a felony termed rape and shall on conviction be life imprisonment.
Section 2 (1) highlights the grounds on which a spouse may decline to consent to a marital act including; where spouses are living together a spouse may refuse to consent to a sexual act if he/she is in poor health or medical condition of a spouse refusing to perform a sexual act.
The Bill further wants courts to be given powers to determine ground upon which a spouse can refuse to engage in a sexual act with their spouse.
The Bill further states, if evidence or reasonable fear that engaging in sexual act is likely to cause injury or harm to the spouse refusing to perform a sexual act is availed, then one has the leeway to reject taking part in any sexual act, as requested by his or her spouse.
In her proposal, the legislator wants Parliament to okay imprisonment jail term of not less than a year for a spouse who performs a sexual act with his or her spouse without consent of that spouse, whether the spouses are living together or in separation. She proposed twenty-four currency points equivalent to Shs480,000.