Commends Fox Odoi MP for his bravery [and quoting his Minority Report on the Anti-Gay Bill]

Yesterday, it was a National Resistance Movement (NRM) Member of Parliament that made his own Minority Report on the amended version of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023. This was Hon. Fox Odoi of Budama North East County. He was the only voice of reason, as the 11th Parliament for the second time passed the Anti-Gay law and did so with the blessing of the President.

I am amazed that Odoi was alone in this. Because his assessment is right. The law will be used as a tool and people can easily be deemed “gay” and therefore be in legal jeopardy. That’s the sort of play and this law is directly targeting on outcasted group of society. This is the LGBTQ+ community. I would have never thought a NRM MP would write a dissenting Report and be the only signatory of it. However, yesterday was such a day and its baffling.

Just read these parts of the Minority Report and you should be concerned to about the usage and the limitations of the law. It shows the disregard of justice and impunity of which it possibly serves. The law itself is draconian and can be a tool of oppression. Not only against actual gays or LGBTQ+ people, but also people who can be accused as such.

Just read these parts, which I have taken from the Report itself…

“The proposal of the President to the extent that it saves the criminalization of consensual same sex relations in clause 2 is self-defeating since on one hand it recognizes their existence and on the other, it punishes their acts. Like the Bill, the proposal by the President will still leave room for the abuse of the rights and freedoms of LGBTQI+ community by legislating the discrimination of such persons, the perpetuation of inhuman and degrading punishments, the invasion of their privacy, the denial of their right to health, housing as well as the right to seek and obtain justice and remedies at law for wrongs committed against such persons. The proposal by the President does not protect, in a comprehensive manner, any of the rights and freedoms enshrined and protected in chapter four of the Constitution” (Minority Report P:4, 02.05.2023).

“The minority fear that this provision will be abused by law enforcement agencies who may label persons homosexuals, without being denied by courts of law. The will require such persons to defend themselves, thereby reversing the burden of proof from the prosecution to the accused person. It is trite criminal law that the prosecution bears the burden to prove the offence against the accused. This burden of proof does not shift to the accused to prove their innocence as the Bill proposes. The burden of proof always rests on the prosecution. The prosecution must adduce evidence to discharge its burden of proof” (Minority Report, P: 5, 02.05.2023).

“The minority has examined the proposals by the President and is of the considered opinion that they are insufficient to salvage the Bill. The unconstitutionality of the Bill cannot be remedied through a partial and ineffective recognition of the existence of LGBTQI+ community while at the same time criminalizing the enjoyment of their constitutional right and freedoms” (Minority Report, 02.05.2023).

Hope to God that after the President accents the law and it goes into effect. That someone petition the Courts and tests its true limitations. Because, the Minority Report even states that its unconstitutional, meaning it goes against the cornerstone of the laws in the Republic. You cannot create new laws, which are in disregard of the Constitution. That makes the law “void” or unredeemable. Therefore, the Anti-Homosexual Act of 2023 could be dismissed or ruled against. If someone would petition it and if so… they would return the favour, which happened to a similar law in 2014.

The NRM and the MPs are apparently going in circle and never learning. The 11th Parliament repeating the sins of the 9th Parliament. When they can write a law like this against one Minority of Society. They can easily do the same against others. That’s what I fear and what people should be worried about. The Minority Report itself states another worry on the implementation and usage of it, which are despicable and a possibility. No one should be shocked if an opposition figure or activists is deemed “gay” and thrown in prison. That is just a given in the current state of affairs. Peace.

Uganda: Deputy Attorney General Jackson Karugaba Kafuuzi letter to Speaker Anita Among – “The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023” (20.04.2023)

Opinion: Déjà vu of 2014

It has nearly been a decade ago since the last Anti-Homosexual Bill was tabled and put into law in the Republic of Uganda. My stance has been the same the whole time. A bill that targets one minority will do no good. If you target one minority, the minority you belongs too could be next.

While the oppression, the brutal state and the authorities are unforgiving in their ways. The manners of which has only continued without any stops. The law enforcement are using means of kidnapping, keeping people incommunicado, imprisoned for years without charges or trials and neither is the actions of the state justified. Just like the state continues to arraign and put civilians into Military Courts. That’s a deliberate act and all the security agencies are in on it.

That’s why the new law from Asuman Basalirwa MP is a useless enterprise. His going after the same issue and same moral obligation as his predecessors did in 2014. What is striking is that he didn’t consider the Constitutional implications and how that would need to be amended before writing such a law. It was bound to fail and not happen…

That’s why the latest NRM Resolution are so in order. The Parliament has already enacted it and waited for the President to assent it. However, the President knows he cannot defy the donors or the multi-national organizations who feeds him. He won’t bite the hand that feeds him. The President know perfectly well that the economy isn’t booming and the domestic revenue isn’t growing either. He needs cash and fiscal stimulus. That can only come from afar and they won’t accept the law striking hard against the LGBTQ.

The International Community might write a condemnation and a warning for breaching human rights laws. Heck, they might even show support and visit a fellow opposition leader who are seeing their comrades suffer on the regular. However, they will not stop the criminalization of the opposition or the oppression, thereof… and the President knows this. So, it is easier to take away this law and get a bargain. Than to actually follow the populist and popular narrative of the day.

Museveni knows he can dismiss and call homosexuality “disgusting”. He can speak ill of it and call it unnatural. However, he will not give away the chance of fresh dollar bills or euros over a “holier than thou” bill in Parliament. I would have estimated that it would be challenged in the Courts and they would call it “void”.

I wouldn’t have thought or considered that Museveni would refer the bill back to Parliament for revision. No, that’s to much action and work for the old man. He could just await the game… and let the bygones be bygones. That’s what I anticipated, but the old man wants them to taste the bitter fruits. Because, his been here before… and we all have been here too.

This law was bound to fail, the way it was launched, manners of judgement and the whole ordeal was a tragic mess. Basalirwa MP should reconsider himself lucky. He has stained his name and reputation, as a “human rights” lawyer. His now just a pawn in a populist game and a man who has no issues digging the graves of a minority to get some political capital. That’s the sort of fella he is and the Parliament all went in on it.

The President just does this… to “win” and also prove a point. That you cannot twist the 1995 Constitution, only he can and he will when he needs it. Peace.

South Africa: Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) – EFF Memorandum to the Ugandan Embassy (04.04.2023)

Opinion: Mwenda’s narrow path…

Overall, the blog has taken a critical stance towards Mwenda’s political commentary and his views on Ugandan politics, with a focus on his support of the NRM and his criticism of opposition leaders” (ChatGPT, 25.03.2023).

Over the years, I have been a staunch and loudmouth critic of journalist and editor Andrew Mwenda. That has been within reason and with arguments, which I find reasonable. However, this last week. I find myself in a peculiar place, in agreement with Mwenda. Even if we don’t see eye-to-eye or is in the same head-space.

Mwenda has been a token ally of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and an unofficial government spokesperson with his views and perspectives. So, it wasn’t shocking that the Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerubaga appointed him to the spokesperson of the MK Army/Movement. That was just the where he was headed anyway.

So, when I see the pushback and retorts back after Mwenda published another one of his Facebook rants. I find it interesting, that this time… his on point and the last time was maybe the garbage helicopters of Garang. So, it has been a decade or so, since we agreed upon something or can acknowledge the pseudo-intellectual spin of his.

Especially when Mwenda write so poignantly this:

More critically, the law is as stupid as it is going to be redundant. It is stupid because it is passed on the basis of protecting Ugandan morals. But you cannot legislate morality and enforce it using state diktat. Morality would be best left to families and religious institutions. Besides homosexuality is not the only “immoral” problem Uganda is facing. As already state above, Ugandans are having sex before marriage, husbands and wives (in fact 90% of the MPs who voted for this law) are cheating on their spouses with reckless abandon, kids in schools are binge drinking and fornicating as if it is running out of fashion etc. etc. The law will be redundant because homosexuality among consenting adults is a private activity conducted in the privacy of their bedrooms. Since both parties are consenting, there is miniscule likelihood that one party will report to police against another. If the problem is pedophilia (sex with underage kids or minors), which is what most Ugandans I listen to seem to insinuate, we have the law against defilement. If it is nonconsensual sex, then we have the law against rape” (Andrew M. Mwenda – ‘Uganda’s homophobic madness’ 24.03.2023).

These words are so on point and makes on the other side of his boss. Mwenda is now crossing paths with the views and perspectives of Muhoozi. The spokesperson of the MK Movement is questioning the reasoning and political motives of their “beloved” leader. I couldn’t have stated these words more perfectly myself. I’m amazed that Mwenda wrote this… when he should know how Muhoozi feels about. That is the man with the meal-ticket and future political base to uphold.

While Mwenda is right in his reasoning and basis for his arguments. I totally agree with him. His going into troubled territories here. Mwenda is crossing swords and negating the views of the Lt. Gen. A man who has professed his love for the Lord and Women. We know the General has even praised the beauty of Kenyan and Rwandan Women. As well, as speaking endearing about his wife. So, we know the game his playing…

Alas, here comes the trouble. Even if Mwenda is right and has a sound mind here. That don’t matter when he has to cater to the court of public opinion. Neither does it help him when the cronies and everyone around him eyeing for his spot. Sooner or later he could fall out of favour and be sacked in the morning.

Mwenda is playing a game he cannot win. He can challenge the law in the Courts like he did with the previous ones. However, his gambling the ticket and the enterprise he has with Muhoozi. The Lt. Gen. isn’t a seasoned vet or a man of rational thinking. His a boozed up and brutal individual with an ego higher than Mount Kilimanjaro. So, Mwenda should be careful here…

He ended his text with this:

To conservative Ugandans, I can only say that our country can only suppress homosexuality by simply abandoning our search for modernization. Here, we would all turn our back on development and return to our villages to live as peasants. But this we will not do because out desire for development is much more intense than our hatred for homosexuality. For gay Ugandans and liberal intellectuals, ignore the subjective motivations of the homophobes. The objective outcome of this draconian law is to widen the debate and bring more knowledge, curiosity and eventually tolerance of homosexuality in our country” (Mwenda, 24.03.2023).

It is really a compelling way and a story to tell. That is uses this argument and reasoning this far. A man who counted cars to explain the rising development. Now he says homosexuality is a sign of modernity. In this instance, I beg to differ a little, because this has always existed and been a thing. That’s why even Roman emperors was dwelling in these activities and that’s ages ago. So, it is part of humanity. The only difference with out time… is that the legality and the human rights conventions are allowing it by law many place. Nevertheless, I am on the side of Mwenda.

You shouldn’t target one minority and have laws that are so severe over moralities. That will be a dangerous path and we don’t know where that is ending. It is starting today with the gays, but tomorrow it could be your neighbour. That’s why the text of Mwenda is within reason and common sense. While we know that all common sense, isn’t all that common.

For a man that has bastardized and gone overboard in his defence of the state and vilification of the opposition. Mwenda was on point here… but by doing so… he could lose his fortunes and his future. As he bets on goodwill and possible other ramifications by taking this stance. This saga will continue.

A year ago or two… I would have neither sided with this man. However, his proving that he can be reasonable and be right. That’s a relief, but don’t expect this to be an occurring theme. Peace.

South Africa: Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) – EFF Condemns Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill (24.03.2023)

Opinion: Basalirwa and the 11th Parliament will regret this…

If a law, which is so draconian and despicable as the Anti-Homosexuality Act or Bill can be passed in a haste in Parliament. The same Parliament can enact laws, which restricts you and your kind very quickly. This was a test from the President to see what the MPs was willing to do.

President Museveni has yet again gotten his minions running wild in Parliament. They did the same about a similar bill in 2014. Which was later challenged in the Courts. The same can easily happening to this one. Especially, when the elites, the NRM way of foreign donors and outside support doesn’t accept this sort of thing. Because we know there is a deficit and lack of domestic revenue, which has to be covered somewhere… and no money comes without strings attached.

The Majority Report on bill does it’s magic too:

“The Committee 1s aware that the Constitution of Uganda does not recognise a right to homosexuality but instead, bans and prohibits same sex marriages The argument advanced for recognition of same sex relations as mainly grounded under article 45 of the Constitution which provides that the rights, duties, declarations and guarantees relating to the fundamental and other human rights and freedoms specifically mentioned in this Chapter shall not be regarded as excluding others not specifically mentioned Thus provision of the Constitution, according to persons who advocate for rights and freedoms of sexual minorities, recognises “other rights” including the rights of sexual minorities as articulated in various international instruments, including Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 and other human rights treaties, quality and which contain provisions recognising the right to non-discrimination as core principles of human rights” (Majority Report on the Anti Homosexuality Bill, 21.03.2023).

When you read a text like this… you just know your in trouble. You are trying to sway an opinion and an idea, that going after and criminalizing one minority is still within the boundaries of international human rights laws. Which is foolish and dumb. You cannot go after and make it “illegal” to be a minority and expect it to fit the United Nations Conventions or International Law at this point. That is a futile enterprise, and the majority proves that… and still they committed to this.

Basalirwa MP who is a supposed Human Rights Lawyer and the MP from a party named “Justice Forum” or JEEMA. Certainly, is misusing the words “justice” and “human rights”. When can inflict this damage and suffering on one minority. It just shows what his willing to do… to gain popularity and be a populist in the Republic. Making laws which justifies severe pain and plights on one group of people. By religion and by codes of faith, that lifestyle and set-of-life might be wrong, but so is having side-dishes and being sugar-daddy’s; But we are not seeing laws enacted against that… Because, then their “bastard” sons cannot become MPs one day…

So, the moral outrage and means to sufficiently enact this law is bogus. If they had trouble with immoral activity and troublesome affairs. They would have cleaned house and acted on their own sins. However, they rather vilify and go after a minor minority based on faith and “nature”. It is really compelling and really evident of what the 11th Parliament is…

We must see if this law will be able to be accented by the President and later tested in the Courts. Just like the 2014 bill of the same sort of vibe. Whereas today the 11th Parliament should have known better and Basalirwa MP should have been wiser too. However, he rather burn bridges, than build new ones. Peace.

Justice Forum (JEEMA): Press Statement (13.03.2023)

Opinion: Does Basalirwa MP know about Constitutional Article 21 (2-3) and 31(2a) or what?

I don’t know if the Asuman Basalirwa, the Bugiri MP knows about certain articles in the 1995 Constitution, which are relevant to a renewed Anti-Gay Bill. He is following the footsteps of the 2014 edition and going after cheap popularity by banning one sort of sexuality. This is making one small figment of society, one tiny minority in the Republic illegal. Just because who they love or have feelings for.

I understand as a Christian and as men of faith, that you have dogmas and belief systems that are countering the tides of time. Alas, still, there should be a difference between what is law and what is morally correct within a religion or belief. Unless, the ones ushering this in believes in State Religion and wants to amend the 1995 Constitution to make “Christianity” or another conservative religion the faith of the Republic.

Nevertheless, there are two articles that needs to be discussed in direct association with the new “Anti-Gay” bill, which will be either a hurdle or a help. The ones doing this are hardliners and people who wants to broaden the spectrum. That is obvious. While there are already laws in place and one Article in the Constitution, which are detrimental for the homosexuals/gays. Which are the minority that is targeted yet again.

Here are the articles, which I deem fit for the occasion.

21. Equality and freedom from discrimination

1. All persons are equal before and under the law in all spheres of political, economic, social and cultural life and in every other respect and shall enjoy equal protection of the law.

2. Without prejudice to clause (1) of this article, a person shall not be discriminated against on the ground of sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion, or social or economic standing, political opinion or disability.

3. For the purposes of this article, “discriminate” means to give different treatment to different persons attributable only or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion, or social or economic standing, political opinion or disability.

4. Nothing in this article shall prevent Parliament from enacting laws that are necessary fora.

implementing policies and programmes aimed at redressing social, economic or educational or other imbalance in society; or

b. making such provision as is required or authorised to be made under this Constitution; or

c. providing for any matter acceptable and demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

5. Nothing shall be taken to be inconsistent with this article which is allowed to be done under any provision of this Constitution” (1995 Constitution).

31. Rights of the family

1. A man and a woman are entitled to marry only if they are each of the age of eighteen years and above and are entitled at that age

a. to found a family; and

b. to equal rights at and in marriage, during marriage, and at its dissolution.

2. Parliament shall make appropriate laws for the protection of the rights of widows and widowers to inherit the property of their deceased spouses and to enjoy parental rights over their children.

2a. Marriage between persons of the same sex is prohibited.

3. Marriage shall be entered into with the free consent of the man and woman intending to marry.

4. It is the right and duty of parents to care for and bring up their children.

5. Children may not be separated from their families or the persons entitled to bring them up against the will of their families or of those persons, except in accordance with the law” (1995 Constitution).

These two articles are important. They are the baseline here.

First the article 21 are setting a parameter, which cannot be breached. There are several of rights for an individual in the Republic to not be discriminated against. All of the reasons are mentioned in the article. This is a negative right in a sense, as the government are limited in their actions towards the individuals or the people mentioned in article. It sets the objective and where the government could take away their rights from. In sense, means there is very few to none who can be touched, because the broad spectrum of people, which are already mentioned here.

While in Article 31, that is even more clear and direct, the 31(2a) is so straight forward. The limitations of rights and lack thereof is set. A person isn’t allowed by law to get married to the same sex. Meaning the gays are not allowed to get married or live as such. This is already limiting their lives and their rights, which is the new goal of the Anti-Gay law, but shows what is already in stone.

The Constitution as is has stipulations that limits life for gay people. That’s why article 31 exists in the first place. It is made with the same sentiment, as the current day parade of “holier than thou” thinking. Instead of letting people living with their own conscience and after their own belief. The big state and government have to direct and take part in who people love or who they have as partners. Which is directly circumventing the 21 article, but the 31(2a) is in existence. So, the legality and the law is active. Meaning, this is something you just have to abide by. That is what you call constitutional order.

However, we are seeing that the individual shouldn’t be discriminated, but there is already set limitations on gay people. So, for the ones who wants to ban it and silence it totally. They will ensure it gets done in darkness and in secret. It will be a hidden community and underground. Because, these are existing whether you like it or not. Gay people are thing and their life-style will not cease to exists over a law. This minority will persist and be viable, but in a closed of community. Just like the speakeasies during prohibition era in the United States. They will just create own places and codes to live. It will be illegal, but be thing.

That’s why it’s tragic… especially when the Article 21 are supposed to safeguard individuals and minorities. Nevertheless, in this case, I think Asuman Basalirwa has forgotten about these articles in the Constitution. That is how it seems… Peace.

Opinion: 11th Parliament is now the House of the Lord…

“We gathered earlier today to dedicate Parliament to the Lord, and I pledged to the country that a bill will be introduced as soon as possible to deal with homosexuality and lesbianism. We shall Jealously protect our cherished values and culture” (…) “Tomorrow, we are going to introduce the bill on homosexuality and I want to request the religious leaders that this time around, be there to see who is who” (…) “We are going to vote by show of hands. You’re either for homosexuality or against it. we want to see the kind of leaders we have in this country” – Speaker Anita Among (28.02.2023).

I don’t know if the Member of Parliament and now Speaker of Parliament Anita Among has read the 1995 Constitution. Neither does it matter, because it is a forgotten text. The one that was the “fundamental change” and game changer when launched. It gave life to the National Resistance Movement and legitimacy. However, with time it has withered and obviously lost value.

Still because of her words… I just have to add two parts of the 1995 Constitution. Just to remind ourselves of the goals, the aims and what is the supposed law of the land. It is fine that the Speaker is a woman of faith and wants to live her life to honour a deity. That is fine and dandy as an individual, but as a legislator and such. She is out of bound with the ideals of the State, the government and her own role as Speaker.

“Article 7 Non-adoption of State religion Uganda shall not adopt a State religion” (1995 Constitution – Chapter 2)

“Article 21 Equality and freedom from discrimination (1) All persons are equal before and under the law in all spheres of political, economic, social and cultural life and in every other respect and shall enjoy equal protection of the law. (2) Without prejudice to clause (1) of this article, a person shall not be discriminated against on the ground of sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion, or social or economic standing, political opinion or disability. (3) For the purposes of this article, “discriminate” means to give different treatment to different persons attributable only or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion, or social or economic standing, political opinion or disability” (1995 Constitution – Chapter 4).

Speaker Among can be Christian all she wants and that’s all good. Nevertheless, the 11th Parliament and the Members of the Parliament doesn’t have to be connected to any faith or such. So, to say that she gives the House to God is out of the sphere and function of the Parliament.

I wonder if the fellow legislators have seen these articles or even considered them. The activist lawyers’ better tool up. Because this should be food for the Courts and be tested by law-abiding citizens. This law should be tested, especially when the Article 7 and Article 21 specify certain rights. These rights has to be respected, even if are against or see it as sinful to live with the same sex. In your faith and what you deem as right is maybe morally incorrect in your view, but as society and by law it shouldn’t be criminalized. Especially, when the 1995 Constitution specifically says a individual should be discriminated against “on the ground of sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion, or social or economic standing, political opinion or disability”. Those words are giving the homosexuals rights to live as they deem fit and they shouldn’t be discriminated against. I am maybe against it by faith myself, but by law they should be allowed to live the way they please. Just like I am allowed and have the rights to live after my religion. That’s why the laws shouldn’t target a minority and one group, which the anti-homosexual bill is doing. They are target today and tomorrow it could be another group of faith. Therefore, it is a slippery slope and when you start… they must demonize more people and make them illegal. That’s just how these things are played out historically.

If the Speaker wants to be Christian that is fine, and I applaud her. However, in this case… it’s the wrong context, the wrong forum and the plenary sessions isn’t made for that. That’s for church or the holy communion. The 11th Parliament is created for legislative agendas and not a prayer house. Secondly, the law itself is a violation of the Constitution, which is what the Parliament is supposed to protect. So, the Speaker and her merry men are violating their own purpose and function by doing so. That’s the interesting part here… and that’s why this got to be tested in the Courts. Peace.

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