Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament Denies Travel Sanctions over Anti-gay Bill

In an article on the parliament website, Rebecca Kadaga denies that she has been barred from attending the Global Peace Convention over her support for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. As I noted last night, the State Department denied reports that  sanctions have been threatened.  It is unclear what committee chair Stephen Tashobya was referring to by a letter he said he received from the United States.

Here is the article from the parliament website:

The Parliament of Uganda has noted with concern the information being disseminated by some media houses and other sources that due to concern for her security, the Right Honorable Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has been barred by the American Embassy, from travelling to the United States to attend the Global Peace Convention 2012. This, it is claimed, is a result of the Rt. Hon. Speaker’s pronouncements during the IPU Conference in Quebec in October 2012,  on matters pertaining to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which is due to be debated in Parliament of Uganda.

The Parliament of Uganda would like to formally clarify therefore that the United States Embassy in Uganda has not at any one time formally communicated to the  Office of the Speaker or to the Speaker herself preventing her from travelling to the United States of America for the said Convention.

While it is true that the Speaker had been invited to attend the Heads of State Global Peace Convention 2012 which will take place from November 29th to December 1st in Atlanta, Georgia, she declined to attend the meeting due to several commitments at Parliament most important of which was that the Deputy Speaker was scheduled to be out of the country on official business at the time, yet Parliament was in session.  It may be necessary to note that constitutionally, it is only the Speaker or her Deputy permitted to chair parliamentary sittings. They can, therefore, not be away at the same time when Parliament is sitting.

The Parliament of Uganda would like to clarify, therefore, that all reports pertaining to the travel ban on the Right Honorable Speaker are fictitious, and have been treated by the Parliament with the contempt that they deserve.  The public is advised to treat the news with similar regard.

It should be noted, in conclusion, that the leadership and the Parliament of Uganda enjoy cordial relations with both the United States Embassy in Uganda and the United States Department of State.

The Global Peace Conference is sponsored by the Unification Church.