Thursday, January 28, 2010

UPC party criticises gays Bill

By Flavia Nalubega
Uganda People’s Congress party members have criticised the controversial anti-gay legislation, arguing that it will distort the state’s relationship with the donors.
Mama Miria Obote, the party president, told journalists yesterday during a press briefing at party headquarters in Kampala that the Bill should be withdrawn since there already laws that governs homosexuality.
“This Bill was tabled to disrupt our donors. This is unfortunate because half of our budget comes from these donors so we need their support. We cannot afford to put in place laws that will distract the flow of funds into the state because it is what we solely depend on,” she argued.
The Bill currently before Parliament proposes a life imprisonment for anyone convicted of homosexuality and the death penalty in certain circumstances. While broadly supported domestically, the legislation has caused a storm of protest abroad.
President Museveni early this week during a party meeting said the private member’s Bill had become a matter of international concern and more consultation was needed.
“It’s a foreign policy issue, and we must handle it in a way that does not compromise our principles but also takes into account our foreign policy interests.”
UPC members, however, explained that the government is steering the Bill to cover-up for its past misdeeds so as to withdraw the public’s attention from more developmental issues.
Mr Yonasani Kanyomozi, the party’s National Chairman, told Daily Monitor that the government was directly involved in formulating the Bill but disguised it as Mr David Bahati’s, the MP who proposed it.
“This is not Bahati’s Bill; it is a government Bill which was put in place to distract the public from the government’s corruption cases.”
However, Museveni said the proposed law did not necessarily reflect government policy, and his cabinet would discuss the Bill with Mr Bahati, before it put to a vote.

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