ARUA MUSLIMS MARCH AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY
By Moses Alinda
ARUA: Thousands of Muslims from the Arua Muslim District Council marched through the streets of Arua town today to protest homosexuality, which is alleged to be prevalent in the country.
The Muslims started their march from Arua primary grounds through the streets of Arua town to OPM grounds, where the match ended.
They were carrying placards with the message “say no to homosexuality” in various languages.
The Muslims were also chanting, “Say no to homosexuality.”
Al hajji Isa Kato Afeku, the former mayor who represented the Muslims of Ayivu division, said as Africans, the culture does not allow homosexuality.
He condemned those who have abandoned the African culture for other cultures, which are misleading.
Arua district khadh Sheik Abujafari Shaban Karala condemned the act of homosexuality and said as Muslims they would shame anyone caught in such acts and the law would take its course.
He urged school-going learners to use their gear and record all those luring them into acts of homosexuality and report to the nearest leaders for assistance.
The representative of Madi and West Nile dioceses, Eziku Albert, who represented the bishop, equally condemned the act and said that as the church of Uganda, they don’t support homosexuality in the church.
He referred those who are lost to read the Bible, where God created man and woman, not man and man.
He said that as the church of Uganda, the archbishop condemned the act as they were fighting it.
The Arua resident city commissioner of Arua City Alice Akello condemned the act and said they were not ready to be disorganized by the European countries forcing them into homosexuality.
She advised people being lured into the vice to chase the agents of homosexuality.
The protest was joined by youth, schoolchildren, old men, women, and Muslim leaders from various mosques, among others.
The national chairperson of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC), Prof. Muhammad Lubega Kisambira, urged parents to talk about LGBT with their children so that it can be stopped.
“Although we grew up knowing that talking about sex with our children is not right until they are adults, let us talk about homosexuality with our children. Senior female and male teachers, play your roles. The funders target children in secondary, tertiary, and university settings,” he said.
On the 1st of this month, parliament granted the Bugiri Municipality MP, Mr Asuman Basalirwa, leave to process the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023, that will prohibit same-sex relationships in Uganda.
His motion was seconded by Mr. Jonathan Odur (Erute County South) and Mr. Charles Onen (Gulu East).
The law being processed is however not entirely new, as Mr. Basalirwa intends to revisit and polish the contents of the 2014 bill that was quashed by the Constitutional Court.
“Precisely, we are bringing back that same Bill. We will make a few modifications because of the changing circumstances and situations and the realities on the ground,” Mr. Basalirwa said.
On August 1, 2014, five justices of the Constitutional Court nullified the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014 due to a lack of quorum in Parliament on December 20, 2013, when it was passed.
They unanimously ruled that the then Speaker Rebecca Kadaga did not first ascertain whether there was quorum before putting the issue to a vote.
Mr. Basalirwa however expressed confidence that the bill will become law as opposed to the one of 2014.
“Fortunately, each of us comes from a constituency, and we are able to feel and hear the sentiments of the people they represent. If you went to any part of this country and attended a religious or traditional function, the messages across are clear [because] the religious council has spoken and traditional leaders have spoken. So who is this member of Parliament who is not sensitive to the voices of the people that they represent?” Mr Basalirwa said.
Even when he declined to divulge the details of his bill, Mr. Basalirwa said that his bill will focus on fixing the glitches that were noted in the 2014 bill.
He indicated that his bill will, among other things, incorporate some of the penalties that were addressed in the previous bill.
The draft tabled on the 1st of this month prescribed life imprisonment for persons who will be found guilty of homosexuality, aggravated homosexuality, or who attempt to commit homosexuality.
The politician also stated his bill proposes a seven-year jail term for people who aid and abet homosexuality, those who conspire to engage in the act, and also those found to be procuring homosexuality.
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