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'I Don’t Even Have A Pussy Cat In The UK' , Anita Among Tells Parliament :: Uganda Radionetwork
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'I Don’t Even Have A Pussy Cat In The UK' , Anita Among Tells Parliament

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She said she is carrying the cross for 48 million Ugandans because she supported the law against homosexuality.
03 May 2024 15:26
the speaker told the house that she is a subject of political witch hunt

Audio 8

Parliament has demanded a comprehensive statement on the UK sanctions against the speaker and two backbench members. 

The Speaker Annet Anita Among together with former Ministers Goretti Kitutu and Agnes Nandutu were on April 30 slapped with sanctions by the UK.  

Deputy Foreign Secretary, Andrew Mitchell in a statement said the Speaker of Parliament, Annet Anita Among, Bududa Woman MP, Agnes Nandutu, and Manafa Woman MP, Gorreti Kitutu will be subject to travel bans and asset freezes in the UK.  

The matter about the sanctions came up on Friday in Parliament in a plenary chaired by, Annet Anita Among. The speaker had not personally spoken out about the sanctions. 

She on Friday told the Parliament that she was not bothered by the sanctions and that she did not even own a pussy cat in the UK.

She went on to urge the UK to respect other countries’ values and cultures. “We are a sovereign country and those who are writing reports, are writing reports because they want to do accountability,” she said

While the UK said the sanctions were related to corruption in the Karamoja iron sheet saga, Anita Among insists the sanctions it is because of her role in the enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023.

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On the iron sheets meant for Karamoja, Among told Parliament that they were dropped at her gate. She said when she discovered that they were subject to the investigation; she refunded an equal number to the Prime Minister’s Office. 

Agnes Nandutu and Gorreti Kitutu who are under trial over the mabaati “theft” were not in the House to comment about the sanctions.

However, Anita Among hinted at the fact that the two former ministers who are facing trial at the Anti-Corruption as still presumed innocent as per the law of the land. 

There appeared to be bipartisan support for Annita Among as the debate on the matter continued. MPS said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been sluggish in responding to the statement by Andrew Mitchell. The speaker however urged the MPS not to attack the Minister of Foreign Affairs.   

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The speaker was short of saying that Andrew Mitchell is gay. 

Bugiri Municipality MP, Asuman Basaliwa said the sanctioning of the Speaker of Parliament is a matter that touches on the diplomatic relations between Uganda and the United Kingdom. He said it is important the Ministry of Foreign Affairs addressed. 

However, Basaliwa, who tabled the Anti-Homosexuality Bill as a private Member’s Bill said the UK has the right to sanction any individual from any country.

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Rising on a point of procedure, Kira Municipality MP, Semujju Nganda wondered whether there was a need for a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs given that Anita Among had stated that she was not bothered by the sanctions. 

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The speaker interjected warning that there is a possibility that all MPS would be sanctioned if something was not done. 

The Senior Minister General Jeje Odong was not in the House. However, John Mulimba, Ministerof Foreign Affairs in charge of Regional affairs was in parliament and he made a statement. 

He told Parliament that the government was surprised to learn of the sanctions. He said the government seeks to find a rationale for actions taken by the British government in its sanction designation.

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He said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will engage with the British High Commission in Uganda and the government of the  United Kingdom on the matter. He noted that sovereignty remains a cardinal principle in the bilateral relations between the two countries.   

Tororo North MP, Geoffrey Ekanya said the actions by the UK government could have ramifications for the speaker of Parliament who is the current chair of the Commonwealth presiding and speaker’s conference.

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He said the sanction brings double standards. He said the government should consider withdrawing from the Commonwealth and its institutions.

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The Speaker of Parliament is the chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in Uganda. She is also the President of the speakers and presiding officers for the 70-member commonwealth parliaments. Patrick Nsamba Oshabe (NUP, Kassanda North), also one of Uganda’s representatives to the Pan-African Parliament said the sanctions were in bad faith.   

He said there is an urgent need to see how Uganda can address the standoff caused by the sanctioning speaker who is supposed to represent Uganda at upcoming Commonwealth conferences. Besides, Nsamba said the issue of corruption especially the one on the iron sheets was in his view not well handled.     

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In sanctioning the legislators, the UK said it is sending a clear message to those who think benefiting at the expense of others is acceptable. “Corruption has consequences and you will be held responsible, “said the statement . .