KAMPALA – Legislators have rejected the proposal in the Succession Amendment Bill 2018 that seeks to see spouses walk away with 50% of the deceased’s property while children are only left with merely 9%.
The MPs made their submission during the high-level dialogue meeting on the pending gender bills held at the Golf course hotel in Kampala organized by Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) and UN-Women.
The lawmakers described as unfair a provision in section 13 of the Succession Amendment bill 2018 that proposes children to part with 9% in the distribution of the wealth of their deceased parents, while have spouses walk away with 50%, while the dependant relatives take 9% and lineal descendants receive 41% of the whole of the property of the person who died without leaving a legal will.
Veronica Babirye Kadago (Buyende Woman MP) said that the proposal is unfair to children especially when the deceased was a woman because her contribution would seek to benefit the polygamous man’s children of other women.
Kadogo said there is need to change the particular provision as its unfair to the children.
She explained, “Because if you say the 50% is going to the spouse, it means it is going to the other children which you don’t know. Actually, 50% should go to the children and children shouldn’t get less than 50% in any case, me as a mother, I am working for my children, in any case, children should get 100% if it is my property I have worked for as a woman, I can only agree that the 50% goes to the spouse if there are properties that we share.”
David Abala (Ngora County) argued that if both the husband and wife die 75% of the properties should go to children remarking, “The distribution isn’t a good one. The 75% should actually go to the children, not the wife. Let me tell you, in the event of my death, my wife may get another man.”
Pamela Akello Justice Centre Uganda also rejected any percentage giving much wealth of the spouse to children, adding that some spouses could be with many children from another woman.
“For us women who are married or cohabiting, we look at women as sperm donors, some men donate so much and in very many places so at the time of their death, as the pivotal wife on the burial day, that is when you realize you have 80 children. I am giving you a scenario where you have been the sole breadwinner, not the husband, you are a legal wife, you are the one who has been working for these properties, we are saying let children take 75%. For us who are sole breadwinners, we produce one or two kids, now you are talking of other children coming in, I just don’t get that,” said Akello.
The Succession Amendment Bill 2019 was tabled by Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana and the bill had earlier been tabled by Rosette Kajangu (Mbarara Woman), but was taken over by Government’s same and seeks to provide for equal distribution of estates of the deceased person.
The Succession Act in its current form provides for equal distribution of estates of deceased parents amongst all the children, regardless of age or the level of dependency on the deceased at the time of death yet, increasingly, many estates have adult and minor beneficiaries who have different levels of dependency and in some instances there are children who are above 18 years but still in school.
The bill is now proposing to provide for equal distribution of estates of deceased parents amongst all children regardless of their age or level of dependency at the time of death noting that increasingly.