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Don’t restrict weddings to Church buildings, says Dr Serwadda

Must my wedding strictly be in a Church? The head of Victory Christian Centre – Ndeeba, Dr Joseph Serwadda has said Born-again Church leaders should be free to perform a wedding ceremony outside the Church.

“The license for people intending to wed should not be dependent on the place,” Dr Serwadda said on Sunday. “One can be accorded a wedding license wheresoever they so choose to have their wedding organised.”

Dr Serwadda, who is also the Presiding Apostle of the Born Again Faith Federation, was speaking during a 6am live talk show on Impact FM and Dream TV.

He urged that the President fully supports the idea, and thus the Born-again fraternity shouldn’t view it as illegal.

Article 31 of the Constitution of Uganda grants the right of men and women of 18 years and above to marry and find a family. The law, also requires all churches applying to become marriage centres to be registered with the Registrar General’s office who issues them with a licence upon registration.

Apostle Serwadda’s remarks, to some believers, might contradict what he told the Observer News Paper in 2011. The News paper in an article titled “Who qualifies to wed” was quoted as saying “a legal marriage is one that is conducted in a place or location directed by the minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, after notices of intention to marry (banns) have been done for 21 days, in a licensed place, a church, temple or cathedral and it is conducted before a licensed Church minister or a Registrar of Marriages.”

Elsewhere on Sunday, Dr Serwadda advised that believers can avoid financial constraints by having the introduction and wedding ceremony on the same day.

“Having a wedding on the same date of your introduction ceremony is very possible. That is what we have always campaigned for. The world does not like this set-up but it saves in various ways – time and finances,” Dr Serwadda said.

One believer remarked during the live show: “I want my wedding to be done any where but not only in church, I’m a member of Victory Church, but during my introduction, I would also want to have a wedding at the same time in the same place.”

Dr Serwadda’s statement came following the recent introduction ceremony of top gospel musician Judith Babirye. Although, deemed controversial by critics, rumor has it that the singer had both the traditional ceremony and wedding on the same date.

Sources close to UG Christian News however refute the claim saying the ceremony was nothing more than an engagement.

“I was invited to attend Judith Babirye’s introduction – I received an invitation but it had this description; if you want to come to the ceremony, call this number and you will receive directions to where the function will be,” Dr Serwadda said, noting that he was however busy on the said date to be able to attend.

Apostle Tumwine Charles who also graced the live show narrated his encounter with Mr Samuel Niiwo, Judith Babirye’s former spouse.

“I met Niiwo and he told me he has no problem with Judith Babirye, and that they managed to run after the divorce papers to the furthest they could; I am not grieved by her decision to get married again, however what perturbs me is her choosing a man that has a wife and children, Niiwo said.”

It was revealed during this meeting that neither did Niiwo have official marriage documents to support claims that he was lawfully married to Judith Babirye. “Was there a wedding ring on Judith’s hand to which Mr Musoke was adding his? No.”

“Any marriage that can not be backed up by official documents (license) from government cannot legally stand on its own,” Dr Serwadda said. “They were in love, that was not based on a covenant. And all covenants are authenticated by institutions; government or church.”

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