Friday, January 15, 2010

Speaker opposes President

Do you believe that? In a democratic environment. Yes. Of course. After all, Obama and Pelosi can have disagreements. In Uganda, the Speaker and the President definately play for the same team. And, the President is the Team Captain. Period.

If this is true, then it is certainly with the Presidents knowledge. Not in this Uganda of ours. But, it is worth it to read the article, because constitutionaly, one lawyer tells me that the Parliament can pass a bill and it becomes law without the Presidents signature. And, I have reason to believe that that is true.
By Yasiin Mugerwa (email the author)

Posted Friday, January 15 2010 at 00:00

In Summary Mr Ssekandi said: “There is no way we can be intimidated by remarks from the President to stop the Bill. This Bill was officially tabled in Parliament and was subsequently committed to a committee for scrutiny. The President has a right to express his views like any other people who have petitioned me.”
Ok. That is the legal, official way. But, in reality, the President controls this parliament. So, why did the Speaker release this statement? Is it politics as usual? Or, is it to stand up so that Uganda does not 'bend over?'

Parliament will go ahead and debate the Anti-Homosexuality Bill irrespective of opposition from donors and President Museveni, Speaker Edward Ssekandi has said.

The Speaker’s position comes days after the US government threatened to expel Uganda from the African Growth and Opportunities Act (Agoa) arrangement if the Bill tabled by Mr David Bahati (Ndorwa West) is enacted into law.

Mr Ssekandi told journalists at Parliament yesterday that no amount of opposition and threats would stop the ongoing process of seeking views on the Bill—that has also been criticised by human rights activists.

The Bill proposes seven-year jail terms for homosexuals and the death penalty for convicts of aggravated homosexuality.
Uhhh! Why does the press lie?... Hey, I love showing them up. If you want, you can read the bill text. It suggests life imprisonment for anyone caught having gay sex. (Male, female), Death if you are caught again, (serial offender). And, for other reasons. For example if you are HIV positive.

You dont believe me? Well, here is the Bill for you to read. Full text here.

Mr Ssekandi said: “There is no way we can be intimidated by remarks from the President to stop the Bill. This Bill was officially tabled in Parliament and was subsequently committed to a committee for scrutiny. The President has a right to express his views like any other people who have petitioned me.”

He added: “This was a private members’ Bill and if the Executive wants to bring their views they are free. The Constitution is clear, it doesn’t allow people of the same sex to get married and what we are looking for in the Bill is (basically) the penalty and the process should continue.”
Lie. Again....!
Ok. I am told it is not okay to be so blunt about things like elders speaking untruths. But, the bill does not deal with Gay Marriage only. There is only one clause (which advocates for life imprisonment if you are so). And, for your information, there is another bill, the Marriage bill, which basically also has a penalty for Gay Marriage.

And, though me and my man call each other husband, I would be a fool to say that we are married when the constitution says something else...! Despite nine years of being together.

See, why dont they tell the truth? They would save me having to contradict them.

Addressing his ruling NRM party members at State House, Entebbe on Tuesday President Museveni told advocates of the Bill to go slow, saying the matter was a sensitive foreign policy issue.
Foreign policy was abandoned to the Minister of Ethics and Integrity for close to 3 months, before the President realised something was happening.

Believe that? Well, that is what the government of Uganda would have us believe.
Daily Monitor has also seen a letter written by the US Trade Representative Ron Kirk Wyden to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on January 12, saying: “I strongly urge you to communicate immediately to the Ugandan government, and President Yoweri Museveni directly, that Uganda’s beneficiary status under Agoa will be revoked should the proposed legislation be enacted.”

The letter adds: “Beneficiaries of Agoa must meet certain eligibility criteria, one of which is to not engage in “gross violations of internationally recognised human rights.”

Under Agoa, signed in 2000, Uganda like several other sub-Saharan African states, got leeway to export products, duty-free, to the US market.

Mr Museveni told the NRM NEC meeting that several foreign leaders had called him over the Bill. He said he had spoken to Ms Clinton for about 45 minutes over the matter.

DC Agenda, an American newspaper, reported on Dec. 19 that Mr Museveni had assured the US State Department of his willingness to veto the Bill, in case Parliament passed it. State House has not denied these reports.

But with gay sympathisers reading victory in President Museveni’s words, Mr Ssekandi insisted the matter was yet to rest.

This gay man was yet to read victory...!

“As black people, the way we understand this issue (of homosexuality) is not the same way the whites understand and we should be able to decide on our own without being influenced,” he told journalists.
Now, now, now Mr. Ssekandi.
I am very sorry, but I do take umbrage at that. First, my skin is as dark as yours. And, I consider myself black. And, I am a Ugandan.

Only difference is, I am gay. So, maybe I have a little bit more information about this than you. This issue, (of homosexuality). Ago in Holland, a place which is gay friendly now, they used to have pogroms hunting for gay people, I think the only real difference is knowledge. Information. Which is a difference very easily corrected.

Anyway, back to the Speaker opposing the President.

I am quite sure that it was for the public and foreign public too. Because both are on the same team. And, the President is the team leader.

But, I am a little confused where they are determined to score...... True, I am a little confused which half of the game we are in for the moment.


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