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WORD BY WORD: Making Sense Of The Newly Drafted Anti- Homosexuality Bill 2023

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Bugiri Municipality Legislator Who Has Re-Introduced The Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023-COURTSEY PHOTO

In December 2013 in what the then speaker of Parliament Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga called a Christmas gift for Ugandans, the house passed the Anti- Homosexuality bill which was drafted and tabled by Ndorwa west legislator David Bahati.

This created excitement as the president would later append his signature making it a fully fledged act to curb the vice of homosexuality which was taking strides scaring the country’s reserved culture, values and norms.

In a turn of events however, the then prime minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi said the legislators who passed the bill didn’t meet the required quorum which rendered the Anti-homosexuality act null and void.

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Indeed by the help of men like Prof Ogenga Latigo, Andrew Mwenda among others, court annulled the act ending the excitement and happiness that Ugandans had been served with.

In their unanimous ruling, the panel of five justices blamed the speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga for acting illegally by abdicating her constitutional responsibility of ascertaining whether there was quorum in the house before the bill was passed into law.

The court panel was led by the then acting deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma. The other members were Justices Augustine Nshimye, Eldad Mwangusya, Salomy Balungi Bossa and Rubby Aweri Opio.

The judges held that at least three people, including prime minister Amama Mbabazi alerted Kadaga about the lack of quorum in the house at the time of passing the bill but she ignored their warning and went ahead to preside over the proceedings to pass the law on December 20 2013.

We uphold that the act of the 9th parliament in enacting the Anti-homosexuality bill into law without quorum is inconsistent with articles 88, 94 of the constitution and Rule 23 of the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure. We come to a conclusion that she (Ms Kadaga) acted illegally and failure to obey the law makes the Act null and void” the judges stated in their ruling

The court also ordered the Arttoney General, who represented the government as the respondent in the same matter to pay 50 percent of the legals costs the pro-gay activists used in their petition.

After the ruling, the pro-gay activists jumped with joy and jubilation over the victory. City advocate John Francis Onyango, one of the lawyers who represented the pro-gay activists described the ruling as a land mark decision and said it was victory for the rule of law

At the height of the heated discussion of Homosexuality in Uganda, speaker Anita Among promised Ugandans that the anti-homosexuality bill will make it’s way back to the floor of parliament and she revealed that parliament would grant leave to Bugiri Municipality legislator Asuman Basalirwa to draft the bill.

Basalirwa has indeed delivered his task of drafting the bill that has since made it’s way to social media and Ugandans can now have a glance at the bill which majority are seeing as a sick dog which won’t make any impact since it lacks government backing.

READ IT HERE. Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023

In 2019 around the month of September, the then Minister for presidency Esther Mbayo came out and refuted claims that there’s a legislator who had sought leave to re-introduce the Anti-Sexuality bill, she used the same opportunity to assure the minority groups (homosexuals) that government has no such plans of bringing their happiness to an end.

The minister Esther Mbayo also urged the minority groups (Homosexuals) to make use of the good security and grassroot organs to report any form of harassments or abuse to be protected.

See the Minister’s Full Statement Below.

Experts have since said that as long as the Anti- Homosexuality Bill 2023 has no government backing, it won’t make any impact instead it will just cause excitement among Ugandans but it’s enforcement will be minimal.

It’s also believed that government may take over the bill and sit on it while possibly some members of parliament may not vote YES in favor of the bill while few or none may vote NO in contrary but majority may shy away from voting and at the end, the required quorum will not be got which will render the bill null and void for the second time in 10 years.

The bills comes at a heated discussion among Ugandans as queer and LGBT activities have been reported some schools the latest being PMM girls school Jinja where a female teacher was accused of promoting lesbianism in the all girls single sex school.

Parents stormed the school, police calmed the situation, the accused teacher Lydia Mukoda whom reports say she calls herself Mr. Ogwang was later in the evening arrested detained but was given bond since there was no immediate case to level against her without proof and evidence.

The Church of Uganda has also started preparations to cut it’s ties from Canterbury (the headquarters) of the Anglican church which last month okayed blessing of gay couples in the church.’

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