By Sapphira Nahabwe
“Imagine working all your life, Developing your man from scratch. Imagine you are married to a man and you are the sole breadwinner of the home. But when the man dies, all your property is taken by people you barely know yet your dependents are waiting for more from you…” narrated Judith Anyango at the GBV and GEWE orientation in Kampala. The orientation was conducted by the International Community of Women Living with HIV Eastern Africa (ICWEA).
Mary Mirembe a vendor in Mulago said her husband is a mechanic who still finds a hard time getting customers to trust him.
She added that from her little earnings, she has managed to sustain her family of four and put up a simple structure.
“My husband trusts me with looking after the family and right now he does not care if we live or die. He does not buy us food or medicine but expects the same in return.” said
Mirembe adding that much as she owns the structure they put up in, her husband still gets the credit for all that.
While women are doing most of the work in the homes, the policy burs them from owning their property.
Judith Anyango, a paralegal with UGANET imagined a woman who gets married at the age of 20 and works every single day on the farm to so as to earn a living. Say this woman is 32 by the time the husband dies, by Law she is only entitled to 15% of that property that she has been working so hard for.
“We are taking back that policy for an amendment to make 50% sharing on the property that a couple owns together.” She said.
Anyango added that 50% given to the wife, she can still continue to work and also give it to children in the future.
She encouraged people to write their wills and clearly state what should be done with their property and avoid tested succession planning.
The Current Succession Policy
The succession policy in Uganda demands that when a man dies, 15% of the property should go to the legally married wife. 75% to all children (legitimate or illegitimate) 9% to other dependents and 1% for the heir.