Ugandan Parliament to return to bills left undecided under last session
Giles Muhame, the controversial editor of the Rolling Stone Magazine Uganda, which outed murdered Ugandan Gay activist David Kato and other gay men in Uganda by publishing their faces on the front cover of the tabloid with a header “hang them,” reports to GAY USA the Blog that the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 will return to Parliament for discussion, ending widely publicized speculation that a Cabinet Sub-Committee had buried it.
Proposed by Ndorwa West MP David Bahati, the bill seeks to criminalize aggravated homosexuality with convicts facing a death sentence.
Muhame wrote to Melanie Nathan of Gay USA reporting this news one hour ago, today:
Today, speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga is interested in saving the Bills from the 8th Parliament.
“The reports of the 8th parliament will be used as working documents and the committees will re-handle the Bills, if the Parliament agrees that we save them,” Kadaga said.
The motion to return the Bills was moved by Lt Col Sara Mpabwa today. “I am moving a motion to save the Bills left un-debated by the Eighth Parliament,” she said. One such Bill included the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009.
The motion was seconded by MP Crispus Ayena.
Other Bills include: Anti-Money Laundering Bill 2009, Narcotics Bill 2007, Regional governments bill 2009, Transfer of convicted offenders Bill 2007 and Geographical Bill 2006. Others are Government assurances Bill 2008, Shuttles security Bill 2009, Companies bill 2009, Marriage and divorce 2009, Prohibition of torture Bill 2010, Plant protection & health Bill l2010 among others.
“MP Sam Lyomoki had earlier said an amendment be included reading ‘any other Bills’ because there could be some others left behind by the motion movers, and they are in the committees, ” notes Muhame. There was some resistance from MP Abdu Katuntu who said Bills come to the House through readings and are committed to the relevant committees.
He was overruled by the Speaker who defended her stance by saying she has carried out ample research in India, House of Commons and Canada, which justified her proposed method of dealing with the Bills.
The Anti-Gay Bill proponents got backing from fiery legislator MP Barnabus Tinkasimire. “The anti-gays Bill is overdue because the spirit of my ancestors tell me that they lived without these practices (homosexuality),” he charged. “I have been hearing government officials that when we pass the anti-gays Bill, we shall loose the donor’s money. (Meaning USA and other Western AID.) We can’t afford to stay with such ills in our society and when it comes before the floor, we shall all pass it and support it,” he added, attracting an ovation from fellow backbenchers.
Kadaga then ruled: “All reports not discussed in the Eighth Parliament will also be brought through a motion and discussed, passed or amended.”
“Experts say much as moralists are celebrating over Kadaga’s resolution to return the Bill for debate, legislators are bound to lose media attention earlier focused on corruption in the oil sector. The Anti-homosexuality Bill, which at one time US leader Barack Obama labelled ‘odious,’ has attracted good copy sales for newspaper barons.” Say Muhame. “Senior Parliamentary reporters say once the Bill is tabled before Parliament, the legislators would pass it with ease. Bahati says the bill is aimed at stamping out western-imported immoral behaviours from society, protecting the moral fabric of the nation, saving the traditional family and buttressing legislation against ‘gayism.’ Bahati says the Penal Code Act which criminalises homosexuality is ‘vague’.”