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Pastor Asks Court To Join Gov't In Upholding Anti Homosexuality Law :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Pastor Asks Court To Join Gov't In Upholding Anti Homosexuality Law

Earlier, the Constitutional Court presided over by Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire consolidated four petitions and 19 applications filed by different parties that are challenging the Anti-homosexuality Law 2023.
Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire the head of Judiciary's Information , Communication and Technology Committee Addressing the Judges on the 22nd Annual Judges Conference


The Makerere Community Church Pastor Martin Ssempa has asked the Constitutional Court to allow him join the Attorney General as a respondent in the case in which four petitions are filed against government seeking to nullify the Anti Homosexuality law.  

According to Pastor Ssempa, he wants to join as the respondent such that the law is upheld and maintained for the sake of upholding the traditional, moral and cultural values that support heterosexuality.  

In his evidence before the Court, Ssempa states that his application raises critical matters of great importance, which have set the country on the slippery, emotive path of impassioned discourse about religion, morality, African tradition, social comitu and peremptory norms and imperative.

He adds that the last time the Anti Homosexuality legislation was challenged in 2014 it was struck out which came as a horror to him and other millions of Ugandans who believe that homosexuality if allowed to thrive unchecked is certain to have negative horrifying irredeemable impact on society .   

"The legislation under attack is a highly charged matter which has transcended national discourse, spilling over onto the international stage with western countries like the United States of America, threatening sanctions against Uganda. The Attorney General as a statutory respondent cannot be relied upon completely to defend this matter all alone, especially since government has bowed to the international pressure before on matters of homosexuality,” reads the application.

Ssempa adds that both the Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka and his Deputy Jackson Kafuuzi have publicly expressed opinion adverse to the Anti Homosexuality Act and their opinions remain in the newspapers which he thinks they have conflict of interest.  

Thus Ssempa says as a defender of traditional African family values and the Christian faith, he has legitimate interest in the petitions before Court whose outcome  he says will have a very fundamental impact  on the integrity of the family, the sanctity of sexual intercourse and the welfare of children.

   

"The nation of Uganda it's culture, it's people , it's children, it's cherished values are facing an existential threat by virtue of an attack from the depths of hell and in times such as these, it is imperative that the proverbial all hands on the deck approach be preferred by court through adding the applicant as a respondent", reads the application.  

Ssempa who was being represented by lawyer Gawaya Tegule says after reading through the response of the Attorney General, he agrees with it but contends that there is alot of room for improvement and value addition and he is seized of the wherewithal to add value to leave no room for error.

He now wants to be added for the city to fairly, firmly and finally adjudicate these issues at once and accurately.  

Earlier, the Constitutional Court presided over by Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire consolidated four petitions and 19 applications filed by different parties that are challenging the Anti-homosexuality Law 2023.  

This has been at the request of the Attorney General who is listed as the sole respondent in all the 23 case files. The petitions include; West Budama MP Fox Odoi, Uganda's Ambassador to South Africa Kintu Nyango, Veteran Journalist Andrew Mwenda , Makerere University Law  professors; Sylvia Tamale and Dr Busingye Kabumba and Civil Society Organization including  Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum HRAPF through its Executive Director Dr. Adrian Jjuuko.



The parties, their lawyers and the Director for Civil Litigation Martin Mwambustya   all have met before Kiryabwire to handle pre-trial issues before the case file is forwarded to a panel of five justices for hearing of a petition that seeks among others to strike out from the Constitution a law that criminalizes petitioners call “consensual sex among adults ".

The petitioners further allege that the Anti-homosexuality Law infringes on several articles of the Constitution that relate to personal freedoms and dignity as well as hampering on the fight against HIV / AIDS.

But before the hearing of the main petition can go on, it will have to first deal with an application by Ssempa who wants to join the Attorney General to defend the Anti-homosexuality Law. 

Another applicant Bishop James Lubega Bbale is asking court to be joined as a necessary party to challenge the Anti-homosexuality Law for discriminating against God's people while UNAIDS wants to be joined on the petition as a friend of court so as to provide relevant information as to why the law must collapse because it will defeat the efforts in the fight against HIV/ AIDS.

 The matter has now been adjourned to December 11th 2023 for further pretrial conferencing as parties continue to harmonize on legal issues. In 2014 the Constitutional Court struck down the Anti-Homosexuality Act on procedural grounds after finding that the Parliament had passed it without the required quorum.