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Adultery Is Not A Crime In Uganda, It Got Scrapped From the Penal Code

Uganda caught the attention of the entire internet space once again but this time it came straight from the police service in the country and the constituion court.

According to the police, adultery in Uganda isn’t considered a crime and it was officially stated as such by the constitution court.

In a somewhat unprecedent ruling, the Constitutional Court made a landmark ruling unanimously saying that Section 154 of the Penal Code Act, which criminalised adultery for years was unconstitutional because it wasn’t fair at all since it treated men and women differently for years.

This news brought about mixed reactions from netizens all over the world who came about this interesting ruling, a one of a kind to say the least.

The adultery law that was there before had different penalties and compensations for both women and men. The law assumed that it was only married men who could be aggrieved in case of adultery. An aggrieved husband was compensated with sh600, which later went up to sh1,200, but an aggrieved wife got nothing.

Also, the wives now do not have to cite different grounds to seek divorce. Previously, wives had to prove cruelty and desertion, in addition to adultery, to secure a divorce while husbands only had to prove adultery.

Back in the year 2007, the Constitutional Court ruled that adultery was no longer a criminal offense punishabled under Law after it was scrapped it from the Penal code.
Another interesting ruling was the several sections of the Succession Act, the court nullified some of them.

The court nullified sections of the Succession Act that dealth with properties to widows, guardianship of children, and domicile upon marriage.

According to the judges, they said that these laws treated woman as second-class citizens which is inconsistent with the Constitution.

The aforementioned petition that was brought before the court by the Law and Advocacy for Women in Uganda in 2005 and 2006 is a major win for women activists who have been championing for this for years on end. The court joined the petitions.

“We will ensure that all discriminatory laws are removed so that Parliament enacts laws in accordance with the Constitution,” said director Dora Byamukama after the ruling.


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