The Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Anita Among, has praised the late Speaker Jacob Oulanyah as one person who believed in humanity.
“We will work for the people and for humanity. We are people’s servants. We will ensure that we follow in the footsteps of the late Jacob Oulanyah who believed in a people-centred Parliament,” she noted.
The Speaker made the statement during a Service for the late Speaker Jacob Oulanyah on Thursday, 23 March 2023.
“We will continue working and remembering what our predecessor believed in. Jacob Oulanyah is one person who believed in evidence-based legislation.”
She reiterated her commitment to keep the legacy of Jacob Oulanyah alive.
“I want to thank Parliament, my deputy and Jacob’s friends, we promised that we shall try to keep the name Jacob alive; we have tried our best to keep Jacob alive. We have tried our best to support the family; we have kept the family together and want to thank the friends of Jacob.”
She added: “We ask God to continue supporting the family of Jacob. As Parliament, we had to pass the Pension Act to ensure that Jacob’s family benefits from what he worked for and we will ensure that the family gets what they are entitled to.”
Among defended the parliament’s decision in passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023, saying the institution will not be intimidated.
“Whatever we did, the legislation we did, the anti-homosexuality bill that we passed was basically to assure people that we are a people-centred Parliament. We do it for the people outside there; we are not doing it for the few people.”
In her speech to Members and staff of Parliament who converged for prayers, Among recounted that she had received a lot of threats prior to the sitting in which Parliament passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and that the repeated calls forced her to switch off her phones.
“I get a lot of threats; ‘we are going to lose out on Aids drugs…aid is going to be cut off, tourism, export’…I said, so what?…that you are going to be blocked from going to America, do I need to go to America?” Among questioned.
“Because we are a Parliament and believe in God, we are going to change this country. So long as you know what you are doing is the correct thing, nobody will intimidate you.”
She asked Members of Parliament and Ugandans to stick together, remain courageous and not allow any kind of intimidation regarding the approved piece of legislation.
“I was sent here by the people of Bukedea; I am what I am because of my people. I am not here because I want to get a donation. We are a parliament that believes in God and are going to change this country. We are not going to be intimidated,” Among added.
Her statement comes amidst calls from the international community for President Yoweri Museveni not to assent to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
Under the private member’s Bill, Parliament approved the death penalty for the offence of aggravated homosexuality.
Those convicted of attempted aggravated homosexuality could face 14 years once convicted; the offence of homosexuality will attract 20 years in prison and attempted homosexuality, 10 years.
In a statement by the United States White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, the Bill is one of the most extreme laws targeting homosexuality in the world.
In December 2013, Parliament passed the first Anti-Homosexuality Bill that was tabled by Ndorwa East MP, Hon. David Bahati and assented to by President Museveni in 2014.
However, the Constitutional Court annulled the law in August 2014 on grounds that it had been passed without the requisite quorum.
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