In light of the rejection of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill by Ugandan President Yowari Museveni, I asked Parliament spokeswoman Helen Kawesa about Speaker Kadaga’s reaction to Museveni’s characterization of the bill as “fascist.” In an email, she said:
The official position is that Parliament passed the Bill. Its now in President’s hands to assent or not. Parliament did its part and can only wait for the President’s position then the process can take its course.
If Museveni makes good on his stated intentions, the bill will be returned to Parliament with Museveni’s suggested changes. Parliament may consider it or leave the matter alone. This process could extend into next year when the Parliament ends.
Apparently, Museveni does not have the amended bill to review as yet. When he receives it, he will have 30 days to send it back to Parliament.
According to the Uganda Sunday Monitor:
The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, has warned the West against “bullying” Uganda over passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
Addressing Uganda’s ambassadors abroad during a meeting with the House committee on Foreign Affairs yesterday, Ms Kadaga took a swipe at foreign countries for targeting Uganda, yet still keeping economic relations with other African countries with the same law.
As a taxpayer, I am glad the government is considering human rights in their donor decisions. I can think of a few other countries I would like to see get less money from the U.S. over human rights violations.
Speaker Kadaga should consider how she would like her government to bully gays.
Kadaga’s rhetoric makes me think that she is facing some heat internally. My guess is that she has political aspirations beyond being speaker and would like to use the gay issue in a populist appeal.