Within one month, February, President Yoweri Museveni seems to have opened two social war fronts. Western donors are angry with the anti-gay bill signed a few days ago. Women are up in arms to defend their rights in the face of what they consider a repressive anti-pornography law.
The anti-pornography act, under which culprits can be fined or imprisoned, defines pornography as; “any representation through publication, exhibition, cinematography, indecent show, information technology or by whatever means, of a person engaged in real or stimulated explicit sexual activities or any representation or the sexual parts of a person for primarily sexual excitement.” On the other hand, there is life imprisonment for those convicted of practicing homosexuality.
Even before it is tested, government is already planning to review the law, as heard from Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi.
One of the winner in this is West Budama MP Fox Odoi who had had earlier indicated, during the scrutinization of the draft law in the Legal and Parliamentary affairs committee, that if passed into law, the piece of legislation would undermine people’s rights such as the right to expression and privacy.
Odoi had said there was no justification for the authorities to get interested in what adults should be watching, reading in their private bedrooms.
This back-tracking exposes some of the government organs, the executive and the legislature, and goes to indicate that some bills are passed for other purposes than they are stated.
The Vice chairperson of the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association Rose Nyakikongoro admitted recently that the anti-pornography law was rushed.