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Uganda Parliament Spokesperson: Anti-Gay Bill Has Not Been Revived

Jim Burroway

May 19th, 2011

From Warren Throckmorton:

In contrast to reports attributed to the BBC (at 14:20) that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill will soon be taken up by Uganda’s new Parliament, a parliamentary spokeswoman denied today that any action has been considered. When asked about the BBC report that the Ninth Parliament had inherited three bills, including the anti-gay bill, parliamentary spokewoman, Helen Kawesa said, “I don’t know where that news is coming from. No one has said anything here about it.”

Kawesa said the Ninth Parliament was just getting started, and elected Rebbecca Kadaga to the post of Speaker, the first woman to hold that position in Uganda’s history. Kawesa said that bills will not be considered during this initial period when committees are being formed and chairs of those committes are appointed. She also confirmed that no motion to re-introduce or continue bills had been made.

The BBC’s Africa Service reported earlier today that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill had been revived in Uganda’s 9th Parliament. Throckmorton got additional confirmation that the bill has not been revived from Stephen Tashobya, former chair of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee for the prior Parliament.

The situation however remains fluid, but as the BBC report initially stated (and is now confirmed by Daily Monitor) the new Parliament’s highest priority is a bill responding to the nationwide riots which have sprung up over the past month. The bill would amend the constitution to allow the government to ban public meetings and to hold people in detention for six months without bail for “economic sabotage.”

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