Prominent Ugandan Anti-Gay Minister Defeated In Party Elections

Jim Burroway

September 8th, 2010

This is a shock. Uganda’s Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo, who is also a Member of Parliament for Bufumbira East, lost out in his party’s primary elections last week. According to last Friday’s Daily Monitor:

Shortly before the results were announced at Kisoro District Council Hall yesterday, Mr Buturo went on a local radio contesting the results. He argued that the results from Bukimbiri and Nyundo Sub-Counties were fraught with several irregularities that needed to be sorted out before the final winner is declared.

The Minister said elections in his constituency should be repeated. Kisoro NRM returning officer, Mr Herbert Nsabimana, advised dissatisfied candidates to petition the NRM Electoral Commission.

It appears that the ruling NRM (National Resistance Movement), which holds two-thirds of the seats in Uganda’s Parliament, is doing some house-cleaning. News reports over the past several weeks show that many incumbents are losing their primaries. Many of those losses are accompanied with charges of fraud and irregularities in the party-run elections. In fact, it is possible that Museveni may support the house cleaning, since the NRM is not known for its stellar electoral record.

If this result holds, this would be a stunning defeat for “The Family’s” man in Uganda. Buturo has been, from the very beginning,  a staunch defender of the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill that was introduced into Parliament last year.

It has always been rather amazing to me that Uganda, a country known for its heavy political corruption, has a Minister of Ethics and Integrity, and one wonders what such a minister does on a day-to-day basis, other than to serve as the country’s preacher in chief. As our reporting over the past year has demonstrated, “ethics and integrity” has not prevented him from lying about the contents of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. And accourding to Daily Monitor, Uganda’s largest independent newspaper, “ethics and integrity” also doesn’t preclude the ministry from diverting state funds into personal bank accounts.

Rebecca Ashling

September 9th, 2010

A politician with the position of Minister of Ethics and Integrity? There’s an oxymoron for you!

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