Visiting Malawian Lawmakers Praise Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law

A visiting delegation of legislators from the Malawi National Assembly on Tuesday commended the Ugandan parliament for enacting a tough regulation that outlaws LGBTQi+ practices in the country.

Parliament passed the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023 in March this year. It was later assented to by President Yoweri Museveni in May. It provides heavy penalties for people who ‘promote’ homosexuality while an offence of “aggravated homosexuality” is punishable by death.

Speaker Anita Among informed the delegation that the anti-gay law was initially passed by the 10th parliament but was quashed by the Constitutional court at the time due to a lack of quorum.

“The anti-homosexuality bill was passed in the 10th parliament but in this particular bill there was no quorum and somebody went to court and challenged. However, when it was challenged a private member picked it up and made changes because this time round, it is on the issues of promotion especially in schools. So he made amendments to the existing bill which was there and government worked together with a private member until this bill was passed,” said Among. 

Led by their first deputy speaker, Madalitso Kazombo, the Malawians applauded Uganda’s parliament for the legislation saying the Anti-Gay Law proves the sovereignty African continent. Jacob Hara, the government chief whip from Malawi said it is time for Africa to safeguard its values.

“We congratulate a bold decision that this parliament made on the stand of the same sex marriage. Africa, it is about time we begin to stand up together and realise our sovereignty and our values. Sometimes, we tend to lose our focus because of the carrots that are dangled elsewhere and that makes us lose our dignity,” he said.

Homosexuality is criminalized in more than 30 of Africa’s 54 countries. However, Europe has threatened aid cuts to Uganda describing the law as discriminatory and abuse of fundamental human rights.

In a related development, the second deputy speaker of the Malawi National Assembly, Aisha Mambo Adams, sought to know how the Parliament of Uganda handles the absenteeism of legislators during business in the House.

Among said the presiding officers write to absentee MPs to explain their reasons for not participating in committee or plenary business of parliament. The visiting lawmakers are in Uganda to undertake a bench-marking visit to understand the country’s governance, and legislative policies among others.

Like Uganda, Malawi is also a landlocked country in south-eastern Africa. It is defined by its topography of highlands split by the Great Rift Valley and enormous Lake Malawi.

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