By: Ambrose Barigye
Former Premier Amama Mbabazi early this week declared his intention to contest for the highest office in Uganda but what would his election mean for the LGBTI community in the East African state.
Mbabazi is remembered for opposing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in 2013 although it should be noted that he based his decision on procedural grounds and not on being in support of LGBTI rights.
With his declaration to run for presidency and the AHB being rumoured to be on its way back to Parliament, would a Head of State with such a background help to crush the bill once and for all or would his election be a threat to sexual minorities?
Human Rights experts exert that any Head of State who opposes a bill that seeks to imprison people on grounds of either their sexuality or gender orientation could be the first major step in the fight for LGBTI rights.
“Regardless of why a President opposes a bill such as Uganda’s AHB, the mere fact that he is against it would work in favour of the community. He or she might not believe that homosexuality is normal or even natural but their respect for human rights would take precedence in this case. And that is all this struggle is about; the community simply wants to have their rights respected and have the law decriminalize who they are,” an official at Uganda Human Rights Watch said on the idea of a Ugandan President that opposes the AHB.
The former Premier cited that homosexuality was already illegal and there was no need to impse imprisonment or the death sentence on LGBTI persons. Amama Mbabazi, West Budama MP Fox Odoi, Mwenje South MP Aston Kajara are some of legislators that strongly opposed the bill and cited it should be suspended.
Photo Sourced From Masake Online