A section of women activists have conceded and agreed with
President Museveni’s proposals on sharing the deceased estates in the
Succession Amendment Bill 2021.
Parliament in March 2021 passed the Succession Bill which seeks to ensure equality and equity in the distribution of the
deceased estates. The bill repeals that succession la which is traced back to 1906.
The Bill's main objective is to provide for the
rights of women and also ensure equality between the spouses in the
distribution of property or estates of the deceased. It among other things make
it compulsory for testators to provide for spouses, lineal descendants, and
dependent relatives in their wills.
However in August, the
President returned the bill for reconsideration stating that the new clauses
included, it would most likely bring disharmony between the surviving spouse
and dependent relatives.
Clause 14 reads that; where the
intestate is survived by a spouse and a dependent relative with no lineal
descendants, the spouse shall receive 80 per cent and the dependent shall
receive 20 per cent of the whole property of the intestate.
The president said that this is
a complete departure from the earlier provisions of the law with no clear
“It will interfere with the
beneficiary’s interests where the surviving spouse’s share increases from 50
per cent to 80 per cent and reduces the dependent relatives' share from 49 per
cent to 20 per cent,” Museveni argued.
The president also added that
the amendment would not only be unfair to the dependent relatives but would
create misunderstandings between the surviving spouse and the dependent relative.
The current law gives 50
per cent of the estate to the widow or widower, 49 per cent of the estate to
the dependent relative and 1 per cent to the customary heir.
Now women activists led
by the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association -UWOPA said on Thursday that they
concede to the presidents proposals.
The women organisations represented including
Landnet Uganda and Women Land Rights
Movement among others, appeared before
the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee that is currently reconsidering
the Bill and said they agreed with almost all the provisions in the Bill.
the Bwamba County MP who is a member of Uganda Women Parliamentary
Association -UWOPA and presented the statement on behalf of the
delegation informed the Committee that the women activists had concurred with
all provisions in the bill save for the need to clearly define residential home
and separation as well as need to delete the provision illegitimate children.
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Abdu Katuntu the Bugweri County MP took the women rights
activists to task why they didn’t bother
addressing themselves to the issues raised by President Museveni in the letter
returning the Bill.
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Lillian Achola of Civil society group LANDnet said that
after the Succession Amendment Bill 2019 was returned, the women activists held
a meeting with the Attorney General and Legal Committee where they conceded to
the President views.
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Meanwhile, Uganda law Society has asked Parliament to allow
spouses that have been separated for less than 2 years to benefit from estates
of their spouses instead of the proposal by Government that barred separated
spouses from benefitting from the estates.
Government is seeking to replace
section 30 of the principal Act and create a new provision reading; "A surviving
spouse of an intestate shall not take any interest in the estate of the
intestate if, at the death of the intestate the surviving spouse was separated from the
intestate as a member of the same household."
Dr. Harriet Diana Musoke, Senior
Counsel at Uganda Law Society said the law if passed in its current form would
be unfair to spouses and instead, there should be a time frame within which the
separated couple wouldn’t benefit from the estate.
Uganda Law Society is also against a section in the proposal that will bar attaching the residential home in
case the deceased incurred debt on the property without seeking consent from