By Alex Ashaba
Due the Corona virus pandemic, President Museveni directed a maximum number of 20 people for scientific weddings. While we have seen some couples embracing scientific weddings, many couples have opted to wait for full re-opening of churches.
At St John’s Cathedral of Ruwenzori diocese, the Assistant Vicar General Rev Kakwezi Kamplyne Kazambu says in the second lockdown of 42 days, they did not register a single wedding at the cathedral, “By the time the President closed churches; some couples had shown interest in wedding and later declined to proceed under scientific wedding arrangement.”
The Assistant Vicar says this is a big decline considering before government announced Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020, the cathedral would have between three to eight weddings every Saturday.
Rev Kakwezi says although scientific weddings are cost effective, the major reason why some couples have declined to embrace it is because they find it hard to select 20 guests.
As the church is in another 60 days of lockdown, the cathedral has registered four couples intending to wed after the period.
Fr Emmanuel Baguma, the Parish Priest St Charles Lwanga of Fort Portal Catholic diocese said in the first lockdown, they wedded three couples while in the second lockdown of 42 days, only two couples wedded, “Before Covid-19, a year we would have over 10 couples wedding but now in two years, we have had five couples due to the lockdown. Our wish is to have couples wed such that they can come closer to God.”
Pastor Kabiito William Kahwa, attached to Christian Fellowship Cathedral of Kabarole in Fort Portal city said in first lockdown, they wedded eight couples while during thesecond lockdown, they have one couple.
“Because of Covid-19, the number of couples to wed has reduced but also weddings have a season as many people prefer to wed at the end of the year,” he said.
Pastor Ibrahim Musinguzi the overseer of United Pentecostal Churches in the Rwenzori region said as a church they are advocating for scientific weddings even after Covid-19.
Pastor Musinguzi said before Covid-19, a year they would wed over 30 couples but now the number has reduced because people have not embraced scientific wedding.
“As pastors in our church we have had a meeting with our Bishop Jimmy Katuramu and have agreed to advocate for scientific weddings because it is cost effective and people can make savings,” Pastor Musinguzi said.
He says they have so far registered nine couples who have shown interest in wedding after this lockdown of 60 days on churches.
What couples say
Mr Tom Birungi from Rwebisengo archdeaconry in Ntoroko district says he could not participate in the scientific wedding because of the limited number of invited guests.
“It will be unfortunate that after people have made their contribution to your wedding, you don’t give them invitation cards. I decided to postpone my wedding until the government fully reopens churches and allow gathering at functions.”
Mr Job Rodgers Mukonyezi, who wedded on June 12, says scientific wedding made him reduce the number of guests and budget from Shs17 million to Shs 14 million . He says he faced a challenge of selecting what guests would attend.
Mr Kenneth Kantu who wedded in May last year at St John’s cathedral said he was able to make some savings from his budget.
He said his budget was Shs 50 million which he had raised before announcing lockdown. He had invited over 500 guests but he reduced the number to 15 guests and used Shs 2.5 million, “Our party was supposed to be held on April 11, 2020 but because of Covid-19, we postponed the party hoping the lockdown would be lifted and it was not. We then decided to schedule the party on May 2, 2020. This party was economical because we reduced our budget trendemously,”
Mr Kantu says of the Shs 2.5 million, part was used to hire video coverage, wedding gown and food for their few invited people. He advises couples intending to wed to go ahead and embrace the scientific way.