Energetic youth leaders have implored President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni not assert the recently passed Anti-Homosexuality bill passed by Parliament into law.
The concerned youth argue that the passed bill has harsh penalties for some homosexual offences, including death and life imprisonment.
While addressing the press in Kampala on Friday, March 24, The leader of Youth Coalition 4 a Better Uganda, Tanbull Akampa on Friday while addressing the press on March 24 revealed that constructive debate on the bill was suppressed by Uganda Parliament leadership.
He noted that if the bill is signed by President Museveni, will have grave consequences on the Ugandan economy since the western countries, are the biggest funders to Uganda’s critical sectors including health, roads and security.
“The Speaker of Parliament Anita Among allowed only one week for the committee to prepare themselves and get views about this bill but at the same debate to make amendments and reviews and also listen to people.”
“There were very many people who had submitted to the committee to give their views and opinions about the bill but these opinions were suppressed because the speaker of Parliament gave was more focused on diverting Ugandans from the real issues,”he said.
He went on to add that parliament suspended the rules to divert Ugandan from the real issues.
“What is it that is pushing the Speaker Anita Among to hurry this bill. Why is she suppressing debate. Parliament is supposed to debate on laws, agree, veto, or disagree. The rules of the procedure were suspended because of the bill. It is not the same that they have done with other bills that are very important to us. The bill on local content. We don’t see the rules of procedure being suspended yet it creates employment. The rules can’t be suspended over bedroom allegations”,he said.
In the US, national security council spokesperson John Kirby said if the law were enacted Washington would consider imposing economic sanctions on Uganda if the bill were signed.
He noted that this would be “really unfortunate” since most US aid is in the form health assistance, especially anti-Aids assistance.
Parliament passed the bill late on Tuesday in a protracted plenary session during which last-minute changes were made to the legislation that originally included penalties of up to 10 years in jail for homosexual offences.
In the version approved by lawmakers the offence of “aggravated homosexuality” now carries the death penalty.
Aggravated homosexuality applies in cases of sex relations involving those infected with HIV as well as minors and other categories of vulnerable people.
According to the bill, a suspect convicted of “attempted aggravated homosexuality” can be jailed for 14 years, and the offence of “attempted homosexuality” is punishable by up to 10 years.
The offence of “homosexuality” is punishable by life imprisonment, the same punishment prescribed in a colonial-era penal code criminalising sex acts “against the order of nature.”
The bill was introduced in February by an opposition lawmaker who said his goal was to punish “promotion, recruitment and funding” related to LGBTQ+ activities in this east African country where homosexuals are widely disparaged.
The bill now goes to Museveni, who can veto or sign it into law. He suggested in a recent speech that he supports the legislation, accusing unnamed western nations of “trying to impose their practices on other people.”
“If signed into law by the president, it will render lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Uganda criminals simply for existing, for being who they are,” Turk, the UN rights chief, said in the statement. “It could provide carte blanche for the systematic violation of nearly all of their human rights and serve to incite people against each other.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Wednesday that the US had “grave concerns” about the bill, adding that it would hamper tourism and economic investment, and “damage Uganda’s reputation”.
Jean-Pierre added: “No one should be attacked, imprisoned, or killed simply because of who they are, or who they love”,she said.
Efforts to speak to speaker Anita Among and her press team were futile as they could not return our calls