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Govt Appeals against Annulment of Anti-Gay Law :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Govt Appeals against Annulment of Anti-Gay Law

“Take notice that the Attorney General, the respondent here in, being dissatisfied with the whole judgment and orders of justices; Steven Kavuma, Augustine Nshimye, Rubby Aweri Opio, Eldad Mwangutsya and Solomy Balungi Bossa given at Kampala on August 1 2014, intends to appeal to the Supreme Court against the whole judgment and orders of the Constitutional Court,” read the AG’s notice of appeal in part.

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The government has started the appeal process aimed at overturning the unanimous verdict of the Constitutional Court that recently annulled the Anti-homosexuality law.

The appeal process begun on Friday afternoon with Senior State Attorney Elisha Bafirawala, lodging a notice of intention to appeal before the registry of the Constitutional Court. This same court annulled the law.

“Take notice that the Attorney General, the respondent here in, being dissatisfied with the whole judgment and orders of justices; Steven Kavuma, Augustine Nshimye, Rubby Aweri Opio, Eldad Mwangutsya and Solomy Balungi Bossa given at Kampala on August 1 2014, intends to appeal to the Supreme Court against the whole judgment and orders of the Constitutional Court,” read the AG’s notice of appeal in part.

In a unanimous verdict issued last week, five justices of the Constitutional Court led by Acting Deputy Chief Justice Stephen Kavuma annulled the law that criminalizes same sex marriages on grounds that it was passed by Parliament without the required quorum.

Parliament requires two thirds of members present when a vote is held, something court says was lacking on December 20, 2013 when the controversial legislation was passed.

The jurists in their verdict faulted the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga who presided over the passing of the law for having acted illegally after she ignored her constitutional responsibility of ascertaining whether there was quorum or not despite three people including the Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi alerting her.

To that effect, the justices observed that such an illegality by the Speaker of Parliament once brought to the attention of the court; the same cannot be over looked. Further in the verdict, the court ordered the Attorney General to pay 50 per cent of the taxed legal costs that the pro-gay activists used pursuing this matter.

This high sensitive matter was filed in March, 2014 by a group of pro-gay activists who sued the AG challenging the passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law without quorum.

They include; Prof. Joe Oloka-Onyango, MP Fox Odoi-Oywelowo, veteran journalist Andrew Mwenda, Prof. Morris Ogenga Latigo, Dr. Paul Nsubuga Ssemugooma, Jacqueline Kasha Nabagesera, Julian Pepe Onziema, and Frank Mugisha.

The other petitioners include the indigenous civil society organizations; Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) and the Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD).

The filing in of the notice to appeal comes at the time when a section of law makers led by Latif Ssebaggala have started mobilizing their colleagues to cause the return of the bill on the floor of parliament.  President Museveni is also scheduled to meet the NRM Caucus in Parliament to discuss the way forward on the law in contention.

He declined to comment on the court decision in a recent news conference insisting that he will first consult his NRM party in a caucus.

According to the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014, a person who purports to contract a marriage with another person of the same sex, commits the offence of homosexuality and shall be liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for life

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