On Friday, the local government minister directed that the bill should never be discussed again in the council since some of its clauses were against the social-cultural norms and the national constitution.
The HIV/TB services
accessibility bill fronted by Human Rights Awareness Promotion Forum-HRAPF, an
NGO involved in the promotion of rights for key populations in Kasese municipality
is illegal, the state minister for local government Victoria Busiinge Rusoke
has declared. She told an extraordinary council sitting of both Kasese
municipality and district councilors that the controversial bill violates the
national constitution, saying its architectures are committing treason under
the national laws.
The proposed law is on an engagement
between Human Rights Awareness Promotion
Forum-HRAPF and Kasese municipal council early last year. However, the Kasese
Municipal Social Services secretary recommended the removal of provisions for homosexuals
and transgender from the proposed bill because they conflict with the national
The councilors say that without
their knowledge the bill was tabled for a second reading. They accused the
speaker, Ukash Swaibu Musenene of disregarding the council’s position. On, Wednesday, the speaker of parliament Thomas Tayebwa told
parliament that he had received news that the Kasese municipal council made
attempts to pass a by-law that recognizes homosexuals and transgender people as
minorities and since then the matter has attracted national importance.
Friday, the local government minister directed that the bill should never be
discussed again in the council since some of its clauses were against the
social-cultural norms and the national constitution. She faulted
the council for failing to do a background check of the NGO to understand her
interest since health services have been inclusive to all constitutionally
recognized social groups.
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Rusoke also accused a section of political leaders who could
have supported the bill of being inconsiderate to the young generation that is
at risk of being sexually exploited by wrong elements. She noted
that her ministry will work with the Ministry of International Affairs to
investigate the operations of HRAPF and subsequently take action.
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The minister also noted that the ministry is
planning to do induction for councilors to help them grasp key national laws in
order to have guided council business.
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The state minister of guidance, Godfrey Kabyanga
asked the Kasese municipality council executive to acknowledge the mistake of attempt
enact a law that contravenes the social norms and the national constitution and
offer an apology to the country.
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A section of councilors and other top district
leaders condemned members who proposed the bill and asked the municipal
executive council to apologize to the community of Kasese and the entire nation
for their failure to preserve social and cultural values.
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The Kasese municipal deputy town clerk, Kayiri
Kambasu noted that during the stakeholders’ consultative and legislation
process, they discovered that the contents and citations of the HIV/TB services
accessibility bill provided grounds for transgender and homosexual practices
and subsequently rejected the bill. He subsequently asked for forgiveness
from members who could have been offended by such a proposal.
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Earlier the town council speaker had said that the
discussion generated was only a political witch hunt against his office.