Bride Price hearing before Supreme Court Today 18th March 2014
Bride Price is now before the Supreme Court. The case will be before the judges today (Tuesday 18th March 2014) at 9am.
In 2010 the Judges in the Constitutional Court made the ruling indicating bride price refund was indeed constitutional, the lone dissenting voice was the late Justice Amos Twinomujuni. The main issues at stake were women’s equality, whether refund of bride price is constitutional and whether bride price causes domestic violence.
MIFUMI held a referendum in 2001 in Tororo District and succeeded in getting a majority vote for reform of bride price. In September 2008, Tororo District passed the Tororo District Bridal Gift Ordinance that prohibits demanding and refunding of Bride Price. Under the ordinance, Bride Price becomes a gift that is freely given and received.
NOTES ON BRIDE PRICE PETITION
The petition on bride price by the constitutional court that was filed by MIFUMI in 2007 was heard on the 8th of September 2009.
MIFUMI a development and women’s rights agency filed a petition to the constitutional court seeking to declare bride price unconstitutional, on the following grounds:
That the demand for and payment of Bride Price by the groom to the parents of the bride as practiced by many communities in Uganda, gives rise to conditions of inequality during marriage contrary to the provision of Art 31(3) of the constitution which demands that men and women shall be accorded equal rights in marriage and its dissolution. MIFUMI argued that the demand and refund of bride price interferes with the exercise of free consent of the parties of the marriage contrary to the demands of art 33(1) of the constitution.
MIFUMI argued that the custom of bride price causes domestic violence so that the woman is subjected to cruel and degrading treatment contrary to article 24 of the constitution as practiced by many communities in Uganda. The respondents to the petition are the Attorney General and one Kakuru Kenneth, a lawyer, who argued the Ankole position.
MIFUMI Brief Organizational Profile
MIFUMI is a developmental NGO and women’s rights organization based in Tororo district. The organization has worked for over ten years to reduce the burden of poverty; addressing issues that hinder development by initiating developmental projects. MIFUMI particularly protects women and children experiencing domestic violence and bride price related violations.
We intervene through the provision of legal aid services, empowerment through micro-credits and start-up packs; health through MIFUMI health centre and education through MIFUMI primary school. MIFUMI also believes in equal opportunities, thus empowers the much marginalized, including PWDs (people with disability) and PLWHAs (people living with HIV/AIDS as a focal point of our main-streaming activities. MIFUMI is a not-for-profit organization registered in 1996