By Juliet Kigongo
Lawyer Male Mabirizi has asked court to quash the ongoing debate about the Anti-homosexual Bill 2023 citing biasness by the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among.
In his case filed before the Magistrate’s Court at City Hall against the parliament, parliamentary commission and attorney general, Mr. Mabirizi reasoned that Speaker Anita Among who is supposed to be neutral is biased in favour of passing the bill.
“An order nullifying or setting aside all proceedings, decisions, and actions pursuant to and in relation to Anti-homosexuality Bill 2023 be it passing, assent or commencement,” the court documents read in part.
He is also seeking an order restraining parliament, parliamentary commission, and the entire government from taking any further step on Anti-homosexuality Bill, 2023.
Mr. Mabirizi asserts that granting leave to a private member to introduce a Penal Bill closes out the civic participation of citizens through government structures and in making of laws that affect them. He further states that the Speaker’s threats to civic organisations and foreign donors threaten the right to participate in activities to influence government through civic organisations.
“The Speaker stated that it is foreign countries which sponsor civic organisations that help homosexuals and “To hell” with those countries,” the documents read further.
“The Speaker’s threats to Members of Parliament that whoever will vote against the Bill will be homosexual, hence a criminal, threatens citizens’ participation in affairs of government through their representatives and that the reason why the voting will be by tally is to expose those who are homosexuals,” Mabirizi noted in court documents.
Mr. Mabirizi further states that actions of respondents infringe upon, derogate and threaten his and other Ugandan citizens’ inherent human rights.
On March 1, parliament granted Bugiri Municipality MP, Asuman Basalirwa, leave to process the Anti-homosexuality Bill, 2023 that will prohibit same-sex relationships in Uganda. The law being processed is however not entirely new as Mr Basalirwa intends to revisit and polish the contents of the Bill of 2014 that was quashed by the Constitutional Court.