The Anti-Homosexuality Act, recently nullified by the court will need to be re-tabled as a bill and to undergo the entire process of enacting a law before it can become an act of Parliament.
The controversial law act was nullified by the Constitutional Court on grounds that parliament lacked quorum at the time of its passing. The court was ruling on a petition challenging the law filed by a group of 10 human rights activists, legal scholars, and opposition politicians.
Parliament requires two thirds of members present when a vote is held, something court says was lacking on December 20, 2013 when the law was passed.
But by dismissing it on procedural grounds, the Constitutional Court sidestepped ruling on the underlying question of whether anti-LGBT laws violate basic human rights protected by the constitution.
The ruling also does nothing to stop parliament from passing the law again with a quorum present.
But Human Rights lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuzi explains that the bill has to be tabled again for first reading before being handed to the committee for scrutiny.
The First Reading formality marks the formal introduction of the Bill in Parliament and the Bill is then committed to the relevant Sessional Committee of Parliament for scrutiny and consideration.
“Once the court declares a law that it does not exist, it has to undergo the parliament’s process again but not to start on the way”, Rwakafuzi stated.
His comments came amidst efforts by a section of legislators led by David Bahati, the architect of the controversial Law to return the bill to parliament saying that the court ruling was based on legal technicalities.
The MPs noted that they would raise quorum and pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law.
Meanwhile, one of the MPs who led a constitutional petition against the enactment of the anti-homosexuality act, 2014 Fox Odoi says he has planned a strategy to block the passage of the anti-homosexuality law again.
Odoi notes after the bill passing through the Parliament bill’s process once again, would require that there is quorum at the passage of every clause of the bill.
He added that no Member of Parliament would stand a travel ban by speaking against homosexuality on the floor of Parliament.
Asked whether the move to block the legislation would not block his political ambitions, Odoi stated that his constituents can differentiate what is right and wrong.