Presidential aspirant Hon John Patrick Amama Mbabazi has moved to nip in the bud one of the contentious issues that is likely to feature severally in his interactions with citizens across the country as he seeks their support to State House in the coming 2016 elections.
Mbabazi told a political television show in Kampala on Friday that while he was not directly in support of the practice of homosexuality, Ugandans through parliament had wrongly passed a law that promoted homophobia, find which is against the 1995 constitution.
“Under our constitution, there is a clear statement about discrimination. I am a stickler to the rule of law,” he said.
The former Prime Minister also doesn’t expect much debate on this matter because “homosexuality at the moment is not the biggest threat to the country” he said.
The law against homosexuality was passed by parliament in December 2013 and elatedly signed by the President a few weeks later.
It was later to be quashed by court on technical grounds that it was passed without quorum.
Efforts to have it hastily reinstated by members of parliament were however curtailed by the President, who in an odd turn of events reverted is earlier stand, warning the MPs in Entebbe that the law was not a priority for the country’s development even as there was need to protect the family institution.
Mbabazi, who from the onset opposed the Bill, had over the past been critiqued for bowing to the pressures of the foreigners.
He has also been accused by a number of people including Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga – a solid anti-homosexuality crusader – of receiving financial backing for his political activities from the foreign gay communities.
During the interview on Friday, Mbabazi urged Ugandans to train focus on more pressing challenges that the country needs to overcome besides homosexuality.
“Homosexuality is not the biggest issue or threat to Uganda today. We have so many problems; things like poverty, unemployment, young people without hope or a future,” he said.
“What we are proposing is that we must focus on these; this is our message to our people. The issues are so many that we must be selective in our meager resources in order to succeed.”
He added, “I am opposed to homophobia. Homophobia is what was reflected in the bill when it was suggested that gays should be executed. I don’t think this was correct. It was wrong.”
“I have stated that like the rest of our society, I believe that marriage is between man and woman. But I have also stated that the question of homosexuality is something that we have lived with in our society for a long time. That’s why we have words to describe it in our various languages.”