Wives force men to abandon their children, says Youth minister

Ms Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi

Kampala- The State minister for Youth and Children Affairs, Ms Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, says the failure by wives to respect their husbands is driving men to abandon their children.

“From my research, the major cause of child neglect is actually failure by women to respect men. I am serious,” Ms Kiyingi told Parliament on Tuesday. “My point is that if you want to protect a child, you must love and respect the father of the child.”

She was contributing to a motion aimed at making the government expedite the implementation of policies and legislation related to children.

During the sitting, legislators voted in support of the motion urging the government should prioritise the promotion and protection of the rights of children against violence.

Kanungu Woman Representative Elizabeth Karungi said what Ms Kiyingi said ‘is true’ even though some legislators do not want to admit it.

But Mitooma Woman MP, Ms Jovah Kamateeka disagreed.

The Deputy Speaker, Mr Jacob Oulanyah asked Ms Nakiwala to substantiate the claim.

Ms Kiyingi said: “I have had a long experience as a leader in the royal kingdom of Buganda leading young ladies and young mothers… when you talk to the wives to create sanity, you find that the fathers are able to care and love their children.”

Agago District Woman Representative Judith Franca Akello said one could not take Ms Nakiwala’s statement as gospel truth.

“She has not given us the sources and the dates of the research. I find it so difficult for this nation to take the minister’s statement seriously,” Ms Akello said.

Kinkizi East Member of Parliament, Dr Chris Baryomunsi said Ms Kiyingi remarks ‘are not necessarily misplaced.’

“There are studies that have been done that clearly show that the behaviour of female spouses chases away their spouses and this can cause disruption in the family,” Dr Baryomunsi said.

“There is a study that was done by Makerere University Institute of Public Health that found that the majority of the men who involve in prostitution are married men, reason being the belligerent behaviour of their spouses.”

In its 2015 annual report, the Uganda Human Rights Commission noted with concern that parents, especially fathers, were increasingly neglecting their children, especially those produced in informal relationships. The report said cases of denial of child maintenance had increased from 13 per cent in 2014 to 15 per cent in 2015. The increases is partly a result of more complaints reports incidents to the commission