The minister without Portfolio, Hajji Abdu Nadduli, and the Bagwere cultural leader John Weyabire yesterday backed critics of family planning as a childbirth control measure and encouraged Ugandans to have as many children as they can.
“The Bible spells out clearly that man and woman should produce any number of children, and there is no single verse that mandates people to practice family planning methods by giving birth to few children,” Mr Weyabire said.
“I don’t believe in family planning because even God said he has good plans for us. Give birth to as many children as the creator can take care of,” he added.
Family planning is a government policy to enable couples to have families that they can support well.
In 2014, President Museveni endorsed family planning in Uganda, saying while he supports a bigger population for economic development; a poor quality population will not transform the country.
Uganda government has prioritised ending extreme poverty. Access to modern contraceptives is one of the most realistic household-level ways through which poverty can be eradicated.
It improves the quality of life of women as mothers and can appropriately determine when and how many children to have.
Ministry of Health emphasises family planning and looks at controlling child birth as a way of stopping poverty in the country.
According to a 2011 Uganda demographic and health survey, a representative sample of women aged between 15 to 49 want an average family of 4.8 children, and men 5.7 children.
“We have peace and security. Please produce more children. I wish you a Happy New Year,” Hajji Nadduli said at an event organised by Christianity Focus Centre, Kampala.
Victory Church Bishop Joseph Sserwadda, in his New Year message at Mandela National Stadium Namboole said government’s family planning programme which focuses only on women will not lead to birth control.
“If the government wishes to control the rising population in the country, it should implement the exercise of vasectomy on the men,” he said.
At All Saints’ Church Nakasero, the Assistant Bishop of Kampala Diocese Hannington Mutebi decried the rate at which fathers are abandoning their role as family heads, leaving children to go astray.