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Friday, 14 February 2014

From constitutionalism to tyranny : I thought the Law says one is innocent until proven guilty : Uganda MPs support Museveni on scrapping bail for sodomy suspects: Suspected gay couple remanded

MPs support Museveni on scrapping bail for sodomy suspects

President Museveni (C) with Government Chief Whip Kasule Lumumba
President Museveni (C) with Government Chief Whip Kasule Lumumba (2nd R), Lands Minister Daudi Migereko (L) and other NRM legislators at the ongoing retreat in Kyankwanzi . PHOTO BY GEOFFREY SSERUYANGE  

By Yasiin Mugerwa & Mercy Nalugo

Posted  Friday, February 14  2014 at  02:00
In Summary

Ministry of Justice tasked to expedite the process of amending the Constitution to the effect.

PARLIAMENT- The ruling party majority yesterday resolved to back President Museveni’s proposal to deny bail for sodomy suspects, defilers and rapists and tasked Ministry of Justice to expedite the process of amending the Constitution to that effect.
Mr Museveni, in a renewed call for the scrapping of the bail window for suspects in capital offences, told the NRM Caucus retreat in Kyankwanzi that the status-quo is encouraging crime in the country.
While corruption is not part of President’s list of targeted offences, sources told the Daily Monitor that “sodomy” was included at the behest of MPs who told their party leader that it has become such an “insidious” problem in the country.
Under the Common Law, sodomy consists of anal intercourse. Traditionally, courts and statutes referred to it as a “crime against nature” or as copulation “against the order of nature.” According to an online legal dictionary, because homosexual activity involves anal and oral sex, gay men were the primary target of sodomy laws.
While the President wants Parliament to enact a law that denies bail for sodomy suspects, he is yet to assent to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill passed by Parliament last year.
Discussing the Justice Law and Order Sector, sources quoted the President saying: “I do not know why the Judiciary is giving bail to every suspect. There is bail to everybody, including the core criminals. We shall do legislation as politicians about this law to determine the categories of suspects supposed to be granted bail.”
In April 2011, the President made a similar case for people accused of economic sabotage, treason, rape, murder, embezzlement and defilement. However, this time, he only singled out sodomy, defilement and rape.

When the issue of denying bail first came up, out-going Leader of the Opposition Nandala Mafabi and other critics, however, argued that the proposal on “economic saboteurs” targeted his political opponents.
Caucus spokesperson Evelyn Anite confirmed the latest developments to the Daily Monitor that the Ministry of Justice was tasked to kick-start the process amid cheers from the ruling party members.

“The President had proposed that bail must be denied to those who rape and defile others and MPs amended it to include those that sodomise others. The proposal was overwhelmingly supported,” said Ms Anite.
The deputy Attorney General, Mr Fred Ruhindi, announced that the Money Lenders Act is among those to be amended to rescue unsuspecting Ugandans from being fleeced of their properties.
“Money lenders have made it a lucrative business to confiscate properties of their clients after convincing them to borrow huge loans. The MPs want the act strengthened to guarantee the security of borrowers’ properties,” said Ms Anite.
The Caucus also granted the Ministry of Justice leave to table Fundraising Bill and further amendments to the Money Laundering law passed by Parliament recently. They also agreed to expedite the latest National ID roadmap ahead of the registration for the 2016 general elections.
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, who is also the NRM Secretary General, is expected to make a presentation today on positioning the NRM Party for 2016 and beyond.
Other party members told this newspaper that the party is expected to discuss the unresolved position of the Secretary General. The party members want Mr Mbabazi whom they say is a “busy person”.
Meanwhile, the number of MPs who have signed on for President Museveni’s sole candidature in the 2016 party primaries yesterday increased to 2015. The latest MP to sign is NRM’s vice chairperson for eastern region Mike Mukula.
“He told the caucus that he will support President Museveni,” Ms Anite said.

Suspected gay couple remanded


Posted  Saturday, February 8  2014 at  02:00

Two men who have been accused of living as husband and wife have been remanded to Luzira Prison on charges of engaging in sex against the order of nature.
Mr Kim Mukisa and Mr Jackson Mukasa denied the charges before Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court on Thursday. They were remanded for lack of sureties to apply for release on bail. The prosecution told court that investigations were still incomplete and the suspected gay couple will reappear in court on February 21 for mention of their case.
Mr Mukisa, 24, a businessman in St Balikuddembe Market (Owino) was charged with having sexual knowledge of a person against the order of nature contrary to the Penal Code Act. His long-time companion Mr Mukasa was charged with permitting a person to have sexual knowledge of him against the order of nature.
More offenders

Mr Mukisa, a resident of Bulange, Mengo and Mr Mukasa, a student and resident of Kawaala, allegedly committed the offences between August last year and January this year. State attorney Stephen Asaba asked the court for an adjournment because inquiries were still ongoing.
In a related case, a businessman in Kikuubo in Kampala, Frederick Biyinzika, was remanded to Luzira Prison on charges of having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old boy against the order of nature. Mr Biyinzika, a resident of Nakulabye in Lubaga Division denied the charges before Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court. He allegedly committed the offence on January 30 this year at Nakulabye in Kampala when he allegedly lured the minor into sex by promising him a job.
Under the Penal Code Act, any person who has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.
In December 2013 Parliament passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill to provide a life jail sentence to anyone convicted of having sex with a person of the same gender. The Bill is awaiting the President’s assent to become law.