AP report: Bahati says death penalty to be dropped from antigay bill – UPDATED

He told me this months ago, but Bahati seems to be wanting to get some attention back on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

at 11:25 on April 26, 2011, EDT.

AP Interview: Death penalty provision in Uganda’s anti-homosexual bill likely to be dropped

The Associated Press

KAMPALA, Uganda – The Ugandan parliamentarian behind an anti-homosexual bill that attracted worldwide condemnation says the most controversial part of the proposed legislation — the death penalty provision — is likely to be dropped.

David Bahati says if the committee the bill currently sits before recommends that the provision be removed, that he would concede the issue.

Stephen Tashobya, the chairman of the parliament’s Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, said Tuesday that he would try to bring the bill up for a vote before parliament’s current session ends May 12.

After Bahati’s bill was proposed in 2009, it attracted international condemnation, including from President Barack Obama. The bill has since languished in committee.


UPDATE: The full AP article is much longer than this short version.

Read it here.

It does sound like Stephen Tashobya intends to get the bill a vote. Given the information, I have been getting from close to the Cabinet, this will not be viewed favorably by the ruling party. An alternative view is that a focus on homosexuality might take the minds of the people off of the recent riots and arrests of opposition party leaders.

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  • Richard Willmer

    Even without the death penalty, the Bill is still utterly diabolical. It’s very important that those sensible Ugandans who do not want the Bill are given even more support.

  • Richard Willmer

    “Many people have expressed concern about that provision providing for the death sentence and I’m sure when we start hearings on that bill we will hear many more concerns.”

    So says Tashobya. I’m sure he’s correct, especially if people are not fooled by Bahati’s apparent ‘flexibility’. Incidentally, Bahati’s alleged willingness to ‘drop the dangling’ makes a complete nonsense of those ludicrous claims he has made that the Bill is really about bringing about consistency with other laws on things such as rape and defilement (there is already provision for hanging those who defile children, though many sentences handed down for child sexual abuse are somewhat lenient in practice, from I what I’ve read in the UG press).

    (Of course it is highly likely that Bahati probably still lusts after the idea of slaughtering people, his apparent ‘consessions’ notwithstanding.)

  • Richard Willmer

    By the way, it’s not clear if Bahati’s so-called ‘concession’ will apply to so-called ‘repeat offenders’, according to Melanie Nathan.


  • Lynn David

    Yeah, I can see Museveni scapegoating gays again as he has in the past.

  • Richard Willmer
  • Richard Willmer

    Actually, Lynn, I’m not sure that M7 will gain much (if anything) by ‘scapegoating gays’. My feeling is that many educated Uganda are much more sceptical about such cheap tactics than in the past. Also, the UG public finances are in a pretty parlous state, so alienating countries like Germany would be counterproductive.

    Furthermore, the ISO probably takes the view that many of the signatures on that 2 million strong petition were fake (and I’m sure they would be absolutely correct in doing so). The (second) Oundo debacle must surely have been a great embarrassment to Ssempa, and I think that is a growing awareness in the right places that all this ‘recruitment’ stuff is a load of bull.

    But you may be correct, of course …

  • Lynn David

    Yeah, though the likes of a Ssempa would choose to argue that Uganda could become an oil superpower and throw the bird at the like of Germany. But thanks to Museveni’s government that has been put on hold over the Heritage tax situation that they are trying to make Tullow pay.

  • Richard Willmer

    Ah, you mean like Nigeria, or the UK!!! (Sorry about the mordent sarcasm!)

  • Richard Willmer

    And Tullow has wriggled out of that little tax business rather nicely, of course!

  • Richard Willmer

    Or perhaps I should have said that Tullow looks like it will get out of paying the tax for which it is allegedly liable by striking a deal with the French and the Chinese. (I don’t approve of all this apparent skullduggery, by the way: developing countries should get a fair deal for their wares. Never trust the British!)

    As for Ssempa: he’s hardly expert at ‘economic transactions’. He couldn’t even get his $42 transaction with George Oundo right!