Religious leaders in Kigezi have attacked Henry Banyenzaki, the State Minister for Economic Monitoring, for allegedly changing his position on the ongoing debate on the anti-gay law.
At a press conference in Kabale over the weekend, Banyenzaki was quoted as saying that the country was spending a lot of time discussing the recently annulled anti-gay law instead of focusing on more pressing issues.
Banyenzaki, also the Rubanda West Member of Parliament, said that the parliament should rather direct their efforts towards other urgent problems.
He added that in his constituency, no person has ever been reported to have been involved in acts of homosexuality and that this should not be fronted as the most pressing problem.
The legislator said that he believes the offenders are few in Uganda and that Ugandans need something better to do than wasting time on discussing anti-homosexuality.
Last week, the constitutional court nullified the anti-homosexuality act 2014 after four of the five judges ruled that at its passing on December 20, 2013, there was no quorum in parliament.
The House needs at least two thirds of all elected legislators when making a decision such as voting on or passing a law.
Some religious leaders in Kigezi have, however, reacted angrily to Banyenzaki’s remarks describing them as recklessness.
Father Gaetano Batanyenda, the chairperson Kigezi Inter-religious Council, says the minister behaved in a very lousy manner adding that he was only being opportunistic by trying to please the president yet he has for long been calling for the criminalization of homosexuality.
Indeed, at the NRM party caucus early this week, Banyenzaki was among the MPs in favour of returning the bill to parliament and “fast-tracking” it through the processes.
Fr. Gaetano says that the Minister has for long been advocating for the anti-homosexuality Act and that he wonders why he is taking a new stand.
The outspoken priest goes ahead to say that he has got reliable information that Banyenzaki told the NRM Caucus that the Pope also failed to rebuke Homo sexuality and that there is no need for the Ugandan legislators to waste time on it.
He refers to the Minister as a disaster to the Catholic Church.
Rev. Emanuel Mitumukiza, the coordinator Kisoro civil society forum, says that the remarks made by the minister put to question his religious values.
He further reveals that the religious leaders will not give up the fight against homosexuality saying that it is against the biblical teachings and also forbidden in the African culture.
He challenges Banyenzaki to first consult his constituents about the issue instead of rushing to make utterances which are a knock-back in what he called the struggle against homosexuality.
The NRM caucus on Monday convened a meeting at State House Entebbe to discuss the annulled homosexuality act. The party has since selected a committee to come up with more findings and report back to them with in a period of one month.