Times are changing in Uganda: Parliament gets a progressive clerk

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07/21/2021

In what appears to be a positive shift in state policy thinking, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has appointed Adolf Mwesige, a liberal and progressive lawyer with a sense of urgency on human rights, as the new Clerk of Uganda’s Parliament. It could represent a new dawn for Uganda’s legislative process, with a renewed concentration on economic growth and jobs creation taking the place of previous bickering between the country’s executive and the legislative arms about issues related to homosexuality. Observers believe that Ugandan politicians are muting their previous anti-gay stance because the current American administration is gay-friendly and they do not want to risk disrupting U.S.-Uganda bilateral relations. Mwesige replaces Jane Kibirige, who served under Rebecca Kadaga, former speaker of the Uganda Parliament. Kadaga has been a prominently anti-gay Ugandan official who promised in 2013 to give the nation a Christmas gift in form of an anti homosexuality bill. She delivered. On Dec. 20, 2013, Uganda passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that included life imprisonment for homosexual activity.

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