By Our Reporter

KAMPALA: The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa, has called on government to finance religious institutions as a way of safeguarding citizens from groups promoting lesbianism, bisexual, gay and transgender (LGBT) relations.

Tayebwa said that his recent experience at the Joint Parliamentary Assembly of African, Caribbean and Pacific States and European Union (EU) held in Maputo, Mozambique revealed the ambitious efforts by the west to introduce cultures still unacceptable in Uganda.

“When I went to Maputo I was shocked. I found all kinds of people who had come to lobby such that ACP-EU passes a resolution that for the next European funding to Africa, Caribbean and Pacific states, we must acknowledge LGBT,” said Tayebwa, who was speaking at the first conference on the state of ethics and morality in Uganda.

He added they were saying we must amend our laws to allow LGBT and provide money in the budget for abortion.

The conference was organized by the Parliamentary Forum on Ethics and Integrity and held at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds on Tuesday.

Tayebwa said that government would be wise to consider funding religious institutions which he said were an easy target of such groups.

“If we can fund political parties which preach hatred, tribalism and facilitate corruption, why can’t we fund our churches where we go for spiritual nourishment? Why do we leave our churches at the mercy of people who are saying we can no longer fund you because your country fights LGBT [relations]?” Tayebwa asked.

He argued that the religious institutions were a potential partner of the state considering their ability to mobilize citizens in masses.

“There is no stronger partner for the state like the religious institutions. Every week in Uganda, according to statistics, over 10 million people attend church. Which greater platform can we have?” Tayebwa asked.

The First Lady, Janet Kataaha Museveni, who was the guest of honor commended Tayebwa’s stance in opposing the move to condition funding on LGBT. She noted that Uganda was a God loving country that could survive with or without external funding.

“We must stand up and let the world know why we say we will not allow homosexuality and lesbianism in our society. We follow a living God who gives us the moral perspectives to live by. Those who threaten us that they won’t give us money can keep it, God will provide, we are his people and all things are under him,” said Museveni.

She however challenged leaders to come up with strategies to nurture the desired society of integrity, grooming citizens in the acceptable moral and ethical values.

“I appeal to leaders from all walks of life to consider building a culture of integrity in our nation. We must devise means of strengthening parenting and leadership at the family level, one way of achieving it is through formal and non-formal means,” she said.

She also noted the need for public servants with the upright moral and ethical values for government to function effectively.

The day’s keynote speaker, a former Vice Chancellor of Uganda Christian University, Rev. John Senyonyi condoned the lawlessness in the country and decried the society that praises the immoral.

“There is a trend, there are people who fraudulently make wealth quickly and the society holds them in high esteem. There is even a trend of sugarcoating inhuman practices such as abortion as normal,” Senyonyi said.

Senyonyi implored Parliament to legislate not only according to the provisions of the Constitution but also considering ethical and moral values. He for instance wondered why strikes in schools and demonstrations are considered human rights when their results tend to be fatal.

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