JOKE: MUSEVENI’S HOLIDAY WITH MATEMBE

She advocated for women the right to divorce impotent husbands, crusaded for castration of defilers and held her own against certain vices as Minister of Ethics and Integrity.

She advocated for women the right to divorce impotent husbands, crusaded for castration of defilers and held her own against certain vices as Minister of Ethics and Integrity.


One day president Museveni decided to go for a holiday. He booked himself on a Caribbean cruise and proceeded to have the time of his life, that is, until the ship sank. He soon found himself on an island with no other people, no supplies, no wife, no guns, no CMI, nothing, only bananas and coconuts.

After about four months, he is lying on the beach one day when the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen rows up to the shore.

In disbelief, he asks, “Miria Matembe, Where the hell did you come from? How did you get here?”

She replies, “I rowed over from the other side of the island where I landed when my cruise ship sank.”

“Amazing,” he notes. “You were really lucky to have a row boat wash up with you.”

“Oh, this thing?” explains Miria. “I made the boat out of some raw material I found on the island. The oars were whittled from gum tree branches. I wove the bottom from palm tree branches, and the sides and stern came from an Eucalyptus tree.”

“But, where did you get the tools?”

“Oh, that was no problem,” replied Miria. “On the south side of the island, a very unusual stratum of alluvial rock is exposed. I found that if I fired it to a certain temperature in my kiln, it melted into ductile iron and I used that to make tools and used the tools to make the hardware.”

Museveni is stunned.

“Let’s row over to my place,” she says, “and I’ll give you a tour.”

So, after a short time of rowing, she soon docks the boat at a small wharf. As Museveni looks to shore, he nearly falls off the boat. Before him is a long stone walk leading to a cabin and tree house.

While Miria ties up the rowboat with an expertly woven hemp rope, Museveni can only stare ahead, dumb struck. As they walk into the house, she says casually, “It’s not much, but, I call it home. Please sit down.”

“Would you like a drink?”

“No! No, thank you,” Museveni blurts out, still dazed. “I can’t take another drop of coconut juice.”

“Oh, it’s not coconut juice,” winks the woman. “I have a still. How would you like a Tropical Spritz?”

Trying to hide his continued amazement, Museveni accepts, and they sit down on her couch to talk. After they exchange their individual survival stories, Miria announces,” I’m going to slip into something more comfortable. Would you like to take a shower and shave? There’s a razor in the bathroom cabinet upstairs.”

No longer questioning anything, Museveni goes upstairs into the bathroom. There, in the cabinet, is a razor made from a piece of tortoise bone. Two shells honed to a hollow ground edge are fastened on to its end inside a swivel mechanism.

“This woman is amazing. She has been calling Ugandans to remove me from power, and now I’m here with her,” he muses. “What is next?”

When he returns, she greets him wearing nothing, but, some small flowers on tiny vines, each strategically positioned, she smelled faintly of gardenias. She then beckons for him to sit down next to her.

“Tell me,” she begins suggestively, slithering closer to him, “We’ve both been out here for many months. You must have been lonely. When was the last time you played around?…….Twende bwana’

Museveni responds back in swahilli too:‘hapana’

She frowns:’Don’t tell me you are missing your wife back in Uganda. Remember we have got the same hair style which she coped from me, ok?………………..Yes, I will work on the voice. So, don’t worry, Mussy. If you managed to forgive that major with HIV, what about me?’

She stares into his eyes. He can’t believe what he’s hearing.

“You mean……” he swallows excitedly as tears start to form in his eyes, you even built a Golf Course?”

‘What’, she asks? ……‘ Look, I was joking with you, Museveni. Now, I’m going to kill you from here to save Ugandans all this headache of: Corruption, term limits, politics of defection, changing the constitution all the time, sijuyi your son taking over from you……….I’m going to send you into early retirement. Bye Mussy’

Nabakooba’s ‘’Bodaboda’’ Thighs may help us understand what beauty is.

Judith Nabakooba on a motorcycle downtown in Kampala

Dear friends,

It is well known that insecure men make fun of powerful women to hide their own feelings of insecurity. So I was not surprised at the pictures in the Redpepper newspaper showing police spokesperson, Judith Nabakooba, being ridden on a bodaboda, that raised a two-day debate on Ugandans At Heart (UAH) Forum. While I personally thought most of the male debaters were ‘crazy’ for not seeing the attraction in the smile always on her face, I saw nothing wrong in them finding her seemingly ‘big’ thighs the real point of discussion.

The fact is that a woman’s body has historically been a subject of regulation, discipline, debate and management. The woman’s body represents the place to project the memories and fantasies of racial,religious and cultural authenticity. Most African men tend to be attracted to the ‘big’ thighs and bums in women, and it is the main reason body image dissatisfaction, dieting, and disordered eating are more common in white than Black females. Racial differences exist in attitudes towards physical appearance and the stigma placed on weight gain and obesity. A black woman can be overweight but black men will still find her attractive which may not be the case with white men.

As a matter of fact, female beauty has always been so pervasive, so profoundly ambiguous such that we all interpret it differently. In her book The Character of Beauty in the Victorian Novel (1987), Lori Lefkovitz provocatively argues that ‘we have actually been trained to ignore descriptions of beauty’ (1984: 1), claims as applicable to the debates men tend to have everyday about women, such as Nabakooba legging it on a motorcycle in tight jeans. But I would argue that beauty has always been something we feel individually. Let me give you an example, I was told by some mates of mine about some beautiful girl in a place where my wife works, but I did not recognise her beauty the first time we met till when I came to appreciate her character( after some regular interactions between us). This girl may have been beautiful by default (because mum and dad are beautiful) but I only recognised her beauty after knowing her properly as a person.

This particular girl has long hair which even the Bible bases on to define beauty: ‘’If a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering’’—1 Corinthians 11:15, but I never appreciated her hair till when I started appreciating the inside of her, but then again, how do we explain the fact that some guys noticed her beauty before knowing her? Does this mean that we are different as human beings in this context?

Among the blacks, during the black Movement of 1960s and 70s, blackness was redefined such that afro centric or “naturally” Black hairstyles became associated with the authentic. As such, the only authentic Black hairstyles would be dreadlocks, afro, cane-row and plaits. However, this has changed tremendously in this century as most black women would love to look like other races. Eurocentric beauty standard of straight, long and flowing hair is now almost the dream of any black woman who visits a hair salon. They just hate the authenticity that defined them in 1960s and 70s. Even Nabakooba’s hair as she relaxingly looked on a ‘bodaboda’ (motor cycle) is not an authentic hair style. These changes have also been reflected in the way black women dress, talk, and smile or sometimes treat themselves in public. There is a semi erosion of Black/ African culture in all aspects of life.

One possible explanation about this change can be explained by Leon Festinger’s Social Comparison theory(SCT) that suggests that people compare themselves to others when they are not certain about themselves. Before slave trade, black hair styles were a reflection of cultural and spiritual meanings, and some of these historical styles are still in existence today, for example: twists, braids, Zulu knots, Nubian knots, and dreadlocks. When slave traders were transferred to other countries, they found it difficult to keep African hair styles, so they resorted to wearing head scarves or handkerchiefs atop their heads, something we still see in Afro- American ladies especially in some black American films.

SCT was also shown among black men in the 18th century where some resorted to wearing wigs just because it was fashionable for white men of the upper class to wear wigs at the time. I guess this explains why Michael Jackson (RIP) and his brothers used to wear wigs when their music band had just started up. It is something that started when blacks (slaves) got jobs in influential white homes or plantations. They adopted all sorts of white cultures in order to fit in.

Already some black women have started seeing beauty in the same way white folks do due to assimilation into mainstream culture and acceptance of mainstream culture ideals of attractiveness as thin. As a student of public health promotion, I should probably go with my brain on this one rather than emotions, by accepting that fat is causing a lot of health problems to people. May be this black evolution in definition of beauty may be a blessing in disguise as it will encourage healthy eating and also control the ageing process of our black women which wasn’t the case in the past.

I know its fashion to some people and probably most men like it, but I still think that women with big hips should not wear clothes that accentuate their girth. If you are a Muslim lady, try to ‘fashion-out’ with a ‘hijab’ as it may give you the same confidence as Nabakooba in tight jeans.

Byebyo ebyange

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Dr. Specioza Kazibwe And ”Sex” Seem To Be Inseparable Nowadays

Friends,

Former Vice President of Uganda,Dr.Kazibwe’s ‘sex’ language seems to be getting out of control. First, we were hit with the headline:’’ I have got a big hole’’ and now we are at:’’ sex is not dirty’’. She may be trying to promote public health but she may create more worms than she intended to. So maybe she needs to reflect on the kind of language she is using while in public. That kind of language may be ok in certain situations but it may carry a message which may not be entirely appropriate for children. She is giving us too much info which is kind of a turn -off.

The way she keeps using words such as ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’ irresponsibly, one may be led to believe that she’s unknowingly suffering from a disease called Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome (PSAS) or ‘Akasagazi’ in Luganda. PSAS is a neurological condition that was first documented in 2001 by Dr. Sandra Leiblum but some people at home just take it to be ‘normal’. I’m not saying that Kazibwe has got it but a language may make one to believe that she may be silently suffering and therefore needs help.

With Dr.Kazibwe, what we are up against is not just dirty words she keeps pouring out of her mouth but the effect her words may have on the overall community since she is a high profile person.If she wanna talk dirty, let her keep a lid on it and keep it for the bedroom with her partner. I for one have no problem holding the former vice President to a higher standard than I hold myself, and feel not the least bit hypocritical about doing so.

It is not like I don’t want some Ugandans to change their attitude towards sex especially the men who beat up their wives and then later demand for sex as if women are sex objects, but what really concerns me is that someone that spouts off half truths and inaccuracies with intemperate language is teaching our children!

Nze mbikoye

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

FDC Should Have Appointed a lady as the Leader of opposition, and Hooting is a Poor Strategy

Dear friends,

Appointing a woman as the leader of the opposition would have helped the case of the Uganda opposition more on the international stage than they realize but they have instead gone for a man. Already Museveni is being praised worldwide for appointing the first woman speaker of parliament in Rebecca Kadaga. Women organizations such as EQUALITY NOW which was founded in 1992 are already using this appointment to further their cause.

Please don’t get me wrong here: Nandalla is a fine appointment and he is one hell of a tough cookie. My point was that the opposition would have made a better statement if a woman had become the leader of the opposition.My personal preferred choice for the leader of opposition in parliament would have been Alice Alaso because she is smart, committed, intelligent, steady and very loyal.

Ogwal is another steady politician with a lot of experience who probably would have become our Vice president in the 1990s had she accepted the deal Museveni put on a table for her. However, I think I’m happy she has not made it to this tiresome post because she is now very old. The bones and legs are gone for her to play 90 minutes of full time ‘football’ on rough pitches in Kampala.

I don’t know why men in Africa still under look women potential because I see a lot of under minding statements from people about this. Let’s think about this position of the leader of opposition for a second. It is not really anything ‘big’ in terms of making an impact on the political scene but it can be useful in making some sort of a statement, and I believe a statement on women empowerment and equality would carry more weight than the characters the opposition have mentioned.

FDC has been promising women empowerment for a while now and I think it’s high time the opposition walk the talk. As Biblical directed man is to be the spiritual leader of a household but that does not mean he is better. Men are automatically picked as spiritual and traditional leaders, but we could change this in politics a little bit. The Iteso lady, Alice Alaso, has served FDC with all her heart and I think she deserves a promotion of some sort. This was an opportunity but I guess the FDC has lost it.

All the same, Congratulations to Nandalla Mafabi who I think he will do a good job and if he does so, he will likely be the one to take over from Besigye in future. Now who can say that Besigye is not grooming a successor unlike some leader in NRM who always appoint a ‘weak’ VP to act as his poodle?

As for Dr.Bukenya, he is gone and the sooner his sympathisers accept it, the better. Let’s assume that president Museveni deploys him somewhere else after this cabinet shake-up, do they ever expect him to become VP again or something that could lead him to state house? Uganda politics is so different from Kenya politics. Ours is more of survival for the fittest – in the sense that those close to Museveni will always be big and get protected as long as Museveni is still the president of Uganda.

Bukenya was a VP for 8 years, the same period AlGore was VP under Clinton. When one has been a VP for that long, the next deployment is supposed to becoming president of the country, not to some silly job. I guess 8 years as VP doesn’t count ANYTHING for professor Bukenya. Al Gore, on the other hand, began his career in public service in 1976 when he was elected to represent Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives (1977-1985). He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1984 and was re-elected in 1990 (1985-1992). He then was elected Vice president and served 8 yrs. He also served in Vietnam and grew up in a home where his father served 32 yrs in the House and Senate.

I would also like to comment on the opposition strategy of ‘Hooting’ and whistling in place if ‘WALK TO WORK’. In my eyes, I think it is a poor strategy that needs to be reviewed because few people in Uganda have got cars or whistles. Let the opposition stick to the now famous ‘walk to work’ or come up with something better as in like ‘OKUFUWA OLUWA’(whistling using the mouth) which is natural. This does not need anybody to buy so called whistles or cars to hoot.

I know Besigye had this idea (hooting) in his head for a long time. At one time, he mentioned it on one of his radio interviews on one FM station but hooting is a non- starter in Uganda. It will just bury the protests. Actually, some people have started to lose the steam. Just abandon the idea and go back to ‘walk to work’.

To be honest, I think the protests have lost steam now with distractions such as: cabinet appointments, army not arresting KB anymore, opposition ‘fuellers’ being arrested as we saw with the editors of Gwanga newspapers, the journalists being gagged and their cameras destroyed, anti-M7 articles not published in the newspapers anymore, e.t.c.

Byebyo ebyange

Abbey Semuwemba

Dr.Satoshi Kanazawa Was Wrong to Conclude:”black women Are less attractive”.

Sanaa lathan, Kerry washington and Jurnee smolette

Friends,

Dr Satoshi Kanazawa article in the Guardian Newspaper on the link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/19/lse-academic-triggers-race-row has brought up a debate about race and beauty which most people try to avoid, atleast in public, but i’m not going to do so. This London School of Economics Professor has been making comments about beauty and poverty for a while. For instance, he believes that people in sub Sahara Africa are not really poor but less intelligent compared to the rest of the world population. He contends that beautiful people tend to produce baby girls instead of baby boys.

His latest comments are so out of line and I’m happy that he is feeling the heat. Our black babes are of course beautiful and attractive .They should not let any loser tell them anything different because beauty has got nothing to do with race.

Surprisingly, I was recently attending a birthday party of a friend’s son and there were a lot of Ugandans there, then I heard one of the Ugandan ladies saying that black men who marry white ladies tend to think they are on another planet whenever they meet fellow blacks. I was kind of astonished with her observations, and now there comes this article from a 21st century psychologist. Anyway, Dr Satoshi Kanazawa is ”crazy” and he does not deserve to teach anywhere else in the world anymore. I can see his next research being on the structures of black men in comparison to Japanese ‘big things’ in their pants or Black men’s big noses.

Yes, I have heard of the phase:’’ once you go black, you’ll never go back. ‘’, but I just laugh it off because it is meant to mean something which may not actually be there. All these phases are prejudiced, for example, I have also had of indirect phases by people using so many words on TV and elsewhere, where they actually mean to say that: “Blacks are criminals”, “Blacks are stupid”, “Blacks are AIDS-infected”, “Blacks are welfare collectors”, “Blacks can’t speak English”, “Blacks stink”, “Blacks are whiners”, ‘’Blacks have bigger penises’’, e.t.c

But we should be careful not to advance arguments put forward by some stereotypes invented by white or black racists. I have never dated any woman from another race but I have met white and Asian girls here in the UK who are so attractive, and I try my level best to leave them alone because of the ‘’UN sanctions’’ put on me by my wife.I try not to break these ”sanctions” to avoid being bombed like Libya’s Gaddafi. Anyway, all I know is that beauty has got nothing to with race. It is mainly down to personal taste and opinion.

Nonetheless, People tend to be naturally attracted to people who share their physical characteristics. Although I’m able to appreciate the beauty of women from other racial/ethnic groups, I feel, from a personal perspective, no strong, compelling impulse to reproduce with someone from another race though the attraction is always there. For example, I can tell you that a tall white male with blue eyes, fair skin, and light brown/blond hair is going to experience the highest sexual attraction possible to a tall white woman with similar attributes. It’s only natural, and similar to the preference that light-skinned black men exhibit for other light-skinned blacks. But this does not mean that you won’t find black men that are drawn to white women or the vice versa.

Now, here comes the big questions: Why do some black men want white women so badly? Why do black women spend a lot of money on products to straighten their hair, in an effort to look like a ‘white woman’? Let me try to offer some insight into this phenomenon.

Africans started losing their original definitions of anything political, social, cultural, beauty and economic ever since the colonialists set their journey on the continent. For example, we sometimes define a better leader by how fluent they speak English; beauty is defined on the borderlines of western concepts; and democracy is also defined along western understanding of it. As a result, most black people endeavour to dilute their African genetic code with a European genetic code to create this balance in the definition of beauty. They want a daughter who looks like Mariah Carey or Vanessa Williams, rather than “Aunt Rebecca Kadaga”(despite being a new parliamentary speaker).

Again, because of the historical perspective that blacks were inferior to other races, some of the black people are attracted or date white women to bolster their self esteem. Never mind that some of these White women are overweight, ugly, have low self-esteem, or have been rejected by the white society for some reason. It’s just a shame that some of the black men regard black women as “second-rate”. In the estimation of this kind of a black man, a kid who is 50% white is better than a kid who is 100% black (or has two parents of primarily African genetics). They consciously or subconsciously perceive this as “better genetics”, i.e. the genetics of better looking or smarter people, and it is something that has been sold ‘culturally’ to the black man through various channels.

The media has specifically played a big part in this by shaping people’s understanding of beauty. When most adolescents enter puberty, they begin to notice and explore media images (TV shows, movies, magazines) of attractive members of the opposite sex that are used to sell products such as candy, soft drinks, acne medication, clothing and anything else that teenagers can purchase with their disposable income. Most of the images used in these adverts are those of white women and this plays a major psychological role to shape anybody’s definition of beauty from childhood. This is also probably the source of the black man’s “fixation” on White women, and ultimately the source of great frustration for the black male. This frustration is caused by societal pressures on white women to not be “social failures” that date black men. Their friends and family speak low of them in their circles when they attempt to go out with black men. This very factor makes it difficult for a white girl to even consider having a one night stand with a black man at work in case it gets out to her friends.

Lastly, other than running, music and jumping ability, most black people just don’t have much else in which to take pride in. Back to Africa, our leaders are the one killing their own people instead of protecting their rights and freedom. For instance, I keep watching a video of the way Arinaitwe Gilbert was inhumanly arresting Dr.Besigye with some form of pride, and i wonder where it came from, because it is very rare to see a white policeman that takes pride in beating up and teargassing a fellow white citizen.

Basically, we have got a few role models to help us take pride in being black, and this kind of behaviour makes the rest of the races to look at us as: savages, less intelligent, non-patriotic and stuff like that, but it is not really true. The world itself has not fully given a black man as many opportunities as it should be. Intelligence has got nothing to do with race. Black People have been brainwashed to think that they are less intelligent than other races and folks that are brainwashed have no idea that they have been.

Abbey Semuwemba

Writers Sought and Uganda Government Encouraged to Set up ”Advice” Centres

Dear friends,
We would like Ugandans to voluntarily start writing about human rights and other various subjects which may be beneficial to others for the UAH (Ugandans At Heart) Community? One can do so at least once a week or month: come up with any topic of their choice and post an article on any day of the week one fancy.

We feel that teaching Ugandans about Human rights and other topics will foster consciousness-raising and empowering experience among the population that will eventually allow Ugandans to be open to some issues happening in our society. We are going to need UAH volunteers to do this job for us as part of our effort to build a true Uganda community on line. If whatever you write can have an effect on at least over 8000 members of this forum, we shall consider this job done. All articles posted on different subjects will be posted on our so many blogs for the consumption of those who are not yet subscribed to the UAH forum and the future generation that will come after you inishallah. Meanwhile, other members should find ways of critiquing whatever is posted on the forum, and they should do so with a lot of respect under the guidance of UAH rules. I mean, we should respect the UAH rules and guidelines in the process of our arguments.

Let us also remember that we have got a lot of university students following what we do on this forum. The media in and outside Uganda is also interested in some of our stuff here. So it is very important that we try to put in some effort in whatever we post on this forum despite lack of enough time due to ‘KYEYO’ demands.

Some of the topics we are looking at include:
1. Problem Solving
2. Hygiene
3. Oral rehydration
4. Immunisation
5. Leadership skills
6. Feasibility studies for income generating local projects
7. Project management
8. Human rights
9. Women and Men’s Health
10. Early childhood development
11. Sustainable natural resource management
12. Climate change and agriculture
13. Kampala Politics in general
14. e.t.c

For members, just post your articles directly to the forum or to the moderator. For non-members of UAH, articles should be posted to: abbeysemuwemba@gmail.com or ugandansatheart5@googlemail.com .
Please, I expect full cooperation from everybody on this as we try to turn UAH into a real Uganda Community that will have more effect our kids now and in the future.

UAH is one of the many self-help groups online -that is made up of Ugandans in and outside the country, but come together for mutual support and to share experiences, information, ideas and ways of coping under different situations. We are not motivated by profit in whatever we do and encourage authenticity of whatever is posted on the forum. Membership to UAH is defined by either self-declaration (if one wants) or mutual agreement (by subscribing through email address), but not by subscription fees. Our discussions are frank and open as possible. So we are not a ‘gossip’ forum or community.

Benefits of UAH membership:
• Reducing depression,
• Increases self esteem especially among regular contributors,
• It’s a platform for more personal contact with fellow Ugandans and those with power. It bridges the gap between: leaders and the people they lead, and Ugandans abroad and those inside the country.
• Increases skills in IT, debating, problem solving and Conflict management, people skills in general, e.t.c- through regular contributions and reading other people’s messages,
• Gives a comparative perspective on one’s own problems,
• One gets information and news bulletins on a regular basis,
• Making new friends and expanding one’s social network,
• Fundraising for national causes,
• E.T.C

Basically, we encourage all Ugandans to join us in one way or the other through facebook, Google, twitter, digs, yahoo, blogs, e.t.c. Those who are already members, we thank you, but you have got a responsibility to help other people make a decision about membership to UAH.

Finally, we request Ugandans through their respective capacities to pressurise the government to start up ADVICE CENTRES in different parts of the country which will ultimately be one of beneficiaries to the literature published on various websites or blogs. For instance, in the UK, they have got Citizens Advice Bureaus that help to give out advice and information about different concerns from individuals in the community. I think we should start something similar on a voluntary basis. Religious leaders could help champion this cause at the beginning before it is adopted by others.
Thanking you in advance

Abbey Semuwemba
MODERATOR

Uganda Women Activists should go Slow on Cohabitation Laws

I love men and women who fight for women rights all over the world but I think the latest proposals from Uganda women activists that appeared in the Newvision are kind of pulling the women behind. I’m not going to go into issues like ‘divorcing a man with a big penis’ because there is no law that can effect that, but I would like to pick on the issue of cohabitation because I think our society is again promoting concepts that are anti-cultural and anti -religious, something I find disappointing to our generation. We are copying a lot of things from the developed nations but we never asses them properly before we bring sell them to our people back home.

In these developed nations such as the UK where I live, marriage has been steadily weakened as cohabitation and homosexuality have intruded and fought to be accepted in the society. The marriage we have grown up knowing which a sacred union between a man is and a woman before God and man, has been rejected as unworkable, laughable, hopelessly old fashioned and contrary to the basest of human sexual urges. Marriage is now openly being supplanted with cohabitation which I find so contrary to our African beliefs and religion.

Therefore, if we give legal rights to couples cohabiting in Uganda, the laws safeguarding marriage between man and woman will not be promoted so much, yet in no way can cohabitation be placed on the same level as marriage. The sense of responsibility for another that distinguishes marriages from alternatives such as cohabitation will be lost in the process if it becomes a respectable alternative to marriage. For instance, in 2007, the Church of Sweden announced its willingness to allow gay couples to marry in church and suggested that marriage laws be renamed “cohabitation laws’’.

In USA, cohabitation is not legally allowed in about seven states though most of these laws are not enforced, among these include: Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Mississippi and North Dakota. Four other states — Illinois, Minnesota, South Carolina and Utah — have laws against fornication, defined as unmarried sex, according to Dorian Solot of the Alternatives to Marriage Project, a group based in Albany, New York which advocates for equality and fairness for unmarried people. Yes, Supreme Court, in 1967, ruled that Florida’s criminalization of interracial marriage and cohabitation was illegal, but I’m yet to find out how this case progressed. The American Civil Liberties Union has also unsuccessfully been trying to overturn some of these laws in several states but at least the Americans who made these laws should be applauded for fighting for marriage, religion and culture.

Some people claim that living together outside of marriage is the only way two people can learn if they are right for marriage, something some people call ‘testing’ or ‘okulozako’ in Luganda, but the truth is that the increase in cohabitation has been accompanied by an increase in the divorce rate. The ‘testing’ may become too much and leads to someone losing interest after a while, yet sex is one of the main sources of their bargaining power in a relationship. For example,Britain now has the highest divorce rate in the European Union. In 1983 there were over 147,000 divorces granted by the courts. By 1994, this number had increased to 165,000.In USA the divorce rate increased from 708,000 in 1970 to 1,175,000 in 1990. Whereas during the same period the marriage rates have remained virtually static, despite the rise in ‘marriageable age’ populations. One survey carried out in USA indicated that marriages are more likely to fail if preceded by cohabitation.

That said, I agree that if couples have been cohabiting for at least 10 years then they should have some small rights but not at the same level of marriage, for the sake of protecting the institution of marriage. For instance, France in 1999 introduced a civil contract called the Pacs, which gives some rights to cohabiting couples, regardless of sex. These do not include the full rights of marriage, notably over taxes, inheritance and adoption. Uganda being a poor country, most couples take about 10 years to do something meaningful with their lives- so that time frame for cohabiting couples looks fine. But the truth is that every parent who has got a daughter in marriageable age would like to see them settled in a proper, secure, and recognised relationship, and this can only be marriage, not anything else.

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

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Uganda at heart

Semuwemba is a Ugandan residing in the UK

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"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. "~ Martin Luther King Jr. ~

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