After a tumultuous end to business in the last session involving the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, the current Ninth Parliament of Uganda continues to organize itself for business. Last week, committees were formed and rules or order are being devised. Jockeying for power and influence occupy the efforts of those in the ruling party and those in the opposition.
Lawmaking is probably a month away but one legislator is predicting that a re-introduced Anti-Homosexuality Bill will be law within two months. Otto Odonga, a member of the committee which Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee in the 8th and now again in the 9th Parliament told me via Skype that he expects David Bahati to reintroduce the bill as soon as possible. He predicted that the bill will come to the floor of Parliament as soon as rules allow.“It will be expedited this time around and passed within one, maybe two months time,” the MP said. Odonga also told me that Stephen Tashobya, the chair of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee, was re-appointed to that same post in the new Parliament. While Bahati will need to start from scratch on the bill, the committee will be able to use the report issued last session as a basis for their work this time around. That report called for minimal changes and retained the death penalty for certain offenses. Odonga said the bill has wide support in the Parliament.
As a follow up on a prior story, Odonga also said that David Bahati was selected to be the coordinator of the Parliamentary Prayer Fellowship.