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Speaker Kadaga clears marital rape bill

IN PARLIAMENT

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga

The Sexual Offences Bill 2015, which was tabled by Female Youth MP Monica Amoding, has been cleared for scrutiny by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga.

The bill criminalizes marital rape whereby a person who engages in a sexual act with his or her spouse is liable upon conviction to imprisonment to a period not less than one year or a fine not less than 24 currency points – about Shs 480, 000.

The proposed law, which is backed by women rights activists and members of the Uganda Parliamentary Women Association (UWOPA), seeks to amend several sections of the Penal Code Act that relate to offences to do with sexual violence. Upon failure by the architects of the bill to get a certificate of financial implication from the Finance Ministry, Kadaga allowed the bill to proceed to the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for further scrutiny.

MPs criticized for passing selfish tax bill

Members of Parliament have caused a public furor after passing a law that exempts them from paying taxes. The Income Tax Bill was amended to include the exemption, which sections of the public and civil society have described as selfish and unpatriotic.

With only two legislators objecting to the amendment, the bill, introduced by State Minister for Finance David Bahati, was passed immediately the Speaker Kadaga put the question to the House. However, a concerned citizen, Francis Byamugisha, has petitioned court saying removing the taxes was untenable as it would not only cause massive tax deficit but also set a dangerous precedent. some civil society activists estimated that the exemption would lead to a loss of more than Shs 41.8 billion to URA.

President Yoweri Museveni will be under pressure not to accent to the amendment as it is likely to set off a flurry of demands by other workers – both public and private – whose allowances are heavily taxed.

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