By: Ambrose Barigye
The Constitutional Court was today filled to near capacity by members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) and sex workers’ communities as they awaited the hearing of the Adrian Jjuko case against the Attorney General.
In his petition, Jjuko challenged the Equal Opportunities Commission Act whose Section 15 states that The Commission shall not investigate any matter involving behavior which is considered to be i) immoral and socially harmful or ii)unacceptable.
The crowd listened on in total disbelief as Counsel Lasdlus Rwakafuzi revealed that the hearing had been adjourned to a yet to be communicated date in September. None of the five judges assigned to the case were readily available; one being on leave and another being ill were cited as the reasons for the lack of quorum.
“We shall not give up; we shall keep pushing until justice is served. We are frustrated about the delay of this case and think all these tricks could be a way of forcing us to give up on this case but even September will arrive,” chief Petitioner Adrian Jjuko said after the disappointing news was delivered.
Pushing this case to a later date has sparked speculation that this could be a political stunt as the reigning regime tries to distance itself from the any matters regarding LGBTI persons, ahead of the 2016 general elections.
“Dealing with this case right now will be political suicide; the government will not risk handling anything to do with sexual minorities before the general elections. They need all the support they can get and any ruling against minority groups will raise questions that will cost the government not only funding but also support from the world’s most powerful states. Just wait and see, they will come up with another excuse in September” a renown political critic who preferred anonymity remarked.
There are also speculations that the case will remain unaddressed until parliament can re-tabled and passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
“We should understand how our government works by now. The justice system is under their control and after the hustle and bustle of the elections, the bill may be re-tabled. If it is passed, such cases will automatically be lost. The delay of this case is part of a grander plan,” the same critic told Kuchu Times.
Jjuko filed the case on 5th February 2009 and nearly seven years later, the constitutional court has still failed to come to the bottom of the issue.
Many members of the community expressed their disappointment in the adjournment but pledged their continued support.