Path for Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill Remains Unclear

Jim Burroway

October 26th, 2011

Warren Throckmorton reports that the end game for Uganda’s revival of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill remains unclear:

This morning I spoke with Parliament Spokeswoman, Helen Kawesa, who told me that no date had been set for debate on the anti-gay measure. “The Business Committee will meet to decide what bills are considered. Then they will be listed on the daily Order Paper,” Kawesa explained. The Business Committee is chaired by Speaker of the House Rebecca Kadaga and made up of all other committee chairs. Currently, no date has been set for this committee to consider a schedule for the bills returned from the Eighth Parliament.

As we noted earlier, Speaker Kadaga was an early supporter for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and before that, for increased penalties for homosexuality. Kikonyogo Kivumbi, writing for the African blog Behind the Mask, has more details:

The passing of the motion (to revive several bills from the previous Parliament) means that David Bahati, the legislator who tabled the globally infamous “kill the gays” bill will not require Cabinet’s approval to table the anti-homosexual bill again.

The Ugandan Cabinet recently said that it had rejected the bill, tabled by as private member’s bill. But Bahati quickly reminded Cabinet that they had no powers over his bill, because it was a property of the Parliament of Uganda, and not the Executive.

Under normal rules of procedure, Bahati should have presented his bill to cabinet first, and also to the Ministry of Finance to obtain a certificate of financial implications of what it can cost government is the bill is passed into law, before a re-tabling.

Stephen Tashobya, Chairperson of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee which was given jurisdiction over the bill, said that Parliament will soon decide on a schedule for the bills:

He could not however say whether the Bahati bill is a priority for the executive. He said, “All bills from the previous parliament shall continue, without going back to the executive for re-introduction.”

anteros

October 27th, 2011

thanks for the update. one wonders how functional the ugandan parliament really is and who calls the shots. at this rate, homosexuality will be decriminalized in uganda (eventually) while bahati’s bill lingers in eternal limbo.

Timothy Kincaid

October 27th, 2011

“…financial implications of what it can cost government.”

Tens, perhaps hundreds, of millions at least. They have been warned that European financial aid will be withheld.

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