NRM legislators defy caucus resolution on anti-gays law

Wednesday August 13 2014

By SOLOMON ARINAITWE

A day after the NRM Parliamentary Caucus resolved to institute a committee to look into controversial clauses of the annulled Anti-Homosexuality Act, a section of the party MPs yesterday rejected the resolution.

NRM Chief Whip Kasule Lumummba had told a press briefing at Parliament that the caucus had resolved that a process to swiftly re-introduce the law into Parliament be put on hold until the committee makes recommendations about the other rights’ issues raised by the pro-gay rights activists.

However, a section of NRM MPs rejected the proposed committee, dismissing it as “dilly-dallying” and a “distraction”, continuing with the process of signing for the reintroduction of the Bill.
Following the passing of the law in December last year, a group of pro-gay rights activists filed a petition at the Constitutional Court, saying it was passed without quorum, violates the right to privacy and dignity, the right to be free from discrimination and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

Court early this month agreed with the pro-gay activists that the law was passed without the required quorum and nullified it.

“It is not useful for us to ignore the other prayers in the petition and then the following week, they (pro-gay activist) are in court to quash the same law. The members who signed were in the caucus and we have agreed to bring a Bill that will stand all the legal tests. This decision is binding to all the (NRM) MPs,” Ms Lumumba said.

Ms Lumumba explained that the nine-member committee led by Vice President Edward Sekandi had a one-month brief to look into the rights’ issues that the pro-gay activists raised but were not disposed of by the court , a matter she said MPs calling for the reintroduction of the law had ignored.

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The caucus also resolved to withdraw the appeal process despite the government last week filing a notice of appeal before the Constitutional Court.
However, NRM MPs; Amos Okot Ogong (Agago County), Eddie Kwizera (Bufumbira East) and Hatwib Katoto (Katerera County) told journalists while receiving a petition from the ex-gays association in support of the annulled law that they could not wait for the committee’s recommendations.
By press time, 221 MPs had signed the document, including seven ministers.

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