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Ugandan tribe caps bride price at Sh150,000

A Ugandan tribe has passed a bylaw that sets a standard bride price. According to the Daily Monitor, the Acholi tribe, through their cultural leaders, have passed the bylaw that requires men to pay a bride price of 5 million Ugandan shillings (about Sh150,000) with anything more being considered as a gift.

The law was passed after many Acholi families lamented the commercialized of bride prices that have taken away the joy of traditional marriages.

With the bride price being reduced, Mr Ambrose Olaa the prime minister of the cultural institution said the demand also significantly dropped.

“The people who value tradition are happy because it has eased and deepened the understanding of what marriage is. We are now getting people seeking counsel and certificates of traditional marriage which used not to be the case,” he said.

Rwot Ayayi, the chief of the Lamogi clan, who doubles up as the deputy paramount chief of Acholi, said that they forwarded the bylaw to Parliament for guidance to effect punishment when someone disobeyed the law.

“We are waiting on Parliament to give us the power to punish those who want to abuse our culture and set their bride price contrary to what we require traditionally,” he said.

According to the bylaw, when one wants to marry an Acholi, he will be required to present a lamp, a litre of paraffin, laundry and bathing soap, a matchbox, a saucepan, stool and suit for the father-in-law, a gomesi for the mother-in-law, and cigarettes.

Other items include a goat for the uncle, paternal aunt, and another for preparing a marital home. Other requirements include facilitation for a marriage committee, six goats and six cows for dowry. Bride price should be between 3 and 5 million Ugandan shillings.

However, in case the woman comes from a royal family, then the man is expected to present a leopard skin, bangle and beads. And if a woman had an abnormal birth, the family of the bridegroom is expected to take a sheep and a white hen for marital rituals.