I know the Bill in its objectives appears appetising and based on the sexual abuses that happen in Uganda the objectives looks excellent. However under the current regime accepting to have laws without looking at them through a political lens and more at that repression, then one looses a point.
I know the political parties and some political leaders might get scared to confront this nasty Bill for fear of their political future and being misunderstood. I will not fear for what the public might think about my opinion because if we are to pursue a democratic path as a country we should be ready for such views. We have hard repressive laws coming through the Ugandan parliament in the recent past. I know that there was public outcry because they were mostly political Bills and therefore the public was awake to oppose them even when they were passed.
I have gotten reliable parliamentary information that when parliamentary business resumes this Bill (the sexual offences Bill) shelved since 2015 will be back to the floor of parliament. As a young man in my formative years I saw Dr. Besigye being tried for rape charges and since then I have understood that sexual related offenses can be used to persecute political opponents. Looking carefully at this Bill this is how it can actually play out easily if this Bill is in place.
Part 8 addresses sexual offences relating to position of trust and person in position of authority, part 1 of 8 says that a person who being in a position of trust takes advantage of his or her influence over another person to have sexual intercourse or any other sexual act commits an offence under this act and shall be liable upon conviction to imprisonment to a term of not less than 10 years.
2) says that a person who being in position of authority takes advantage of his influence over any other person to have sexual intercourse or any other sexual act commits an offence under this act and shall be liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than 10 years.
This to me puts the juniors at a position to blackmail the seniors, and any relationship even when there was prior agreement can bring it as a tool to bring about the seniors. The Bill also doesn’t cater for the juniors that tempt the seniors using their lower ranks to tempt the seniors for sexual favours.
The Bill also means that a minister or a Member of Parliament or party presidents of big political parties by the virtue of their positions can have influence on any person and therefore if they had sexual encounter it could be used for political witch hunt. Its better tat this Bill is analysed critically and is debated with a lot of care
Brian Atuheire Batenda is A political and human Rights Activists