What you need to know:
He challenged the Speaker to explain to the House the stage at which the Bill is and what became of the committee that was set up to harmonise on its contents
Members of Parliament have reignited the push for the reintroduction and passing of the Anti-homosexual Bill with calls to pass it as a Christmas gift for the people of Uganda.
Raising a point of national importance, Kawempe North representative Latif Ssebagala, who described himself as a chief mobiliser of members of Parliament who cherish our values, norms and religious beliefs, said the legislators are ready to pass the Bill before the House adjourns for Christmas.
He challenged the Speaker to explain to the House the stage at which the Bill is and what became of the committee that was set up to harmonise on its contents.
“What can we do to restart the Bill so that we assure our people that we have never backtracked? I have 256 signatures and I have kept them long enough. I want to lay them on table so that they become property of this Parliament,” Mr Ssebagala said.
“The ultimate problem is for us to go for the recess without handling this Bill. It is us MPs who did not do our work. Since we are nearing Christmas and the New Year, we can as well give it as a gift to the people,” he said.
The number shot to 261 after five legislators requested the Speaker that they be allowed to sign from the clerks table in the House because, “they were away when the signature book was being passed around”.
About new bill
In contrast to the nullified Act, the new Bill that the MPs want to table, a copy of which Daily Monitor has seen, avoids any explicit references to homosexuality, but seems to co-opt sections of the Penal Code, which prescribe, among others, a life sentence for “unnatural sexual practices.”
Unnatural sexual practices are defined in the draft Bill as a sexual act between persons of the same sex, or with or between transsexual persons, a sexual act with an animal and anal sex.
The proposed legislation also expands the definition of “promotion of unnatural sexual practices” and proposes a prison sentence of up to seven years for the promotion of homosexuality.
Speaker Kadaga promised to put the Bill on the order paper as soon as she gets the text of the Bill.
“You asked me to explain the stage at which the Bill is; I cannot know because it is a private members Bill. I can also not explain anything about the committee that was formed to harmonise the clauses because it was done outside this House. But I will put it on the order paper the moment I get the text of the Bill,” she said.