NewsEast & Horn AfricaSex, English and Wages in Ugandan politics


Posted on Monday, 28 January 2013 16:39

Sex, English and Wages in Ugandan politics

By Godfrey Olukya

Ugandan President Museveni said that members of parliament, insinuating the government had killed an MP, were idiots and fools Some Ugandans have begun openly referring to their legislators as "idiots", accusing the parliamentarians of failure to interpret the penal code and constitution regarding homosexuality.


The newfound courage to censure the legislators as being foolish follows a national address by President Yoweri Museveni a few weeks ago.

During his speech, Museveni said that members of parliament, insinuating the government had killed one of them, were "idiots and fools".

The legislators have since been called idiots on radio talk shows, in some newspapers and at public gatherings.

But Museveni's words have not gone down well with all MPs, with Gerald Karuhanga (MP) leading a group of legislators calling for the president's impeachment on those grounds.

To make matters worse, controversial religious leader and anti-gay campaigner, Pastor Solomon Male has offered English lessons to parliamentarians, to enable them to understand deliberations in parliament.

"Ugandan MPs" according to the cleric, "lack [adequate] English. That is why they cannot interpret the already existing and sufficient laws against homosexuality and sex abuse against children."

Male, has argued that there are already tough laws against homosexuality and there is no need to go ahead with deliberations on an anti-gay bill in parliament.

Ugandan parliamentarians have been debating a bill, now known as the anti-homosexual bill - tabled in 2009 by MP David Bahati that originally sought the death sentence for homosexual acts.

A recent comment by Beatrace Kireke, an MP, did little to help the waning image of legislators when she reportedly referred to pubic hair as "public hair" while addressing youths in Kampala.

Another clamour was triggered recently when a male friend of a female MP 24-year-old Cerinah Nebanda - who died recently a day after accusing Museveni of trying to intimidate MPs into passing a controversial oil bill - suggested that the late MP, was a regular consumer of drugs, especially before going to parliament.

The controversial post mortem results have divided the country's political classes with some claiming that Nebanda was poisoned.

Heterosexuals or Homosexuals

A riling Male said Ugandan MPs are corrupt and have increased their salaries but are doing nothing for Ugandans.

"They simply eat (spend) tax payers money and get involved in sex orgies."

Ugandan MPs earn over 20 million Uganda shillings per month equivalent of about US$9,000.

Male said that the penal code act of 1950 section 145 criminalises sex against the order of nature. Sentence - life in jail. Section 146 criminalises mere attempts and defines sentence as seven years in jail.

He goes ahead to explain the penal code amendment act 2007, which was assented by President Museveni.

"Section 129 of the Penal Code Act was amended to protect all children below 18 years from all sorts of sexual abuses, be it by heterosexuals or homosexuals," he said.

He said those laws are enough and there is no need of the controversial bill, but unfortunately the MPs, he said, are ignorant about it.

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