Uganda’s Parliament reconvenes to a clogged house including anti-gay Bill

By Melanie Nathan, June 24, 2013.

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 3.59.02 AMThe Ugandan Parliament’s legislators are about to reconvene. The Daily Monitor, has reported that as the Ugandan Parliament will have to deal with a “clogged agenda” in the House. There are many issues waiting to be considered, including the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which has been lingering in Parliament over the past years since its first introduction. The publication reports as follows:-

“The legislation that seeks to criminalize homosexuality is expected to be debated in the third session of the House. The committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs will table its report on the Anti-Gay Bill for the third reading before it is passed or rejected by the House. The Daily Monitor is reliably informed that the Committee completed its work and what is remaining is to get space on the order paper. The donors have threatened more aid cuts if Parliament passes the Bill but MPs have vowed to pass the Bill.”

The 3rd Session of the 9th Parliament  opened with the State of the Nation Address delivered by the President on Thursday June 6, 2013.The Address was delivered in accordance with Article 101(1) of the Constitution, which provides that “the President shall, at the beginning of each Session of Parliament, deliver to Parliament an address on the state of the nation.” The sitting was attended among others by government officials, diplomats, traditional and religious leaders was held at Kampala Serena Conference Centre, Kampala.

The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, commended the performance of the Legislature in the last session.

“We have just concluded the second year of our term and have registered in my view, a fairly good performance. Parliament has continued to exercise its legislative, representative and oversight roles with some challenges,” she said.

She outlined the business accomplished in the 2nd Session, which included passing 16 bills; considering and concluding 44 reports; passing 24 motions and other business.The Speaker said that the tasks before Parliament are enormous whereas the expectations of voters remain high.“During this Session, I am hopeful that we can be able to post an even better performance,” she said.

The Anti- Homosexuality Bill appeared in first position at one point on the last session’s order papers, and then vacillated between 3rd and 7th position for some weeks. The Speaker had promised to deliver the popular Bill to Ugandans by last Xmas, but other highly controversial matters took priority in the Parliament.

We will keep you updated when we receive tomorrow’s order papers.


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