East Africa

EAC minister says gays must not adopt kids


Chairman of the East African Council of Ministers Harrison Mwakyembe (left) confers with council member Shem Bageine of Uganda (second left),

The Minister of East African Community Affairs, Shem Bageine, wants a regional law to ban people in same-sex marriages from adopting children within the East African region drafted and passed.

Bageine was addressing members of the East African legislative Assembly who are sitting in the Ugandan Parliament.

“I think it [adoption of regional kids by gays] should be restricted,” Bageine said.

“If they [homosexuals] believe that it’s the right way to fight God’s creation, le them create their own children.”

The minister wondered how the child will call a man “mother” in the gay relationship.

He was greeted with a thunderous applause from members of the regional Parliament (EALA).

Bageine argues that it is morally wrong for persons in same sex marriages and relationships to raise children into practices that could be detrimental to their wellbeing.

Uganda unlike other regional states signed the homosexuality bill outlawing activities of gays.

Only recently, the Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, resisted US president, Barack Obama’s attempt to promote gay rights in Kenya.

In 2012, the Addis Ababa-based African Child Policy Forum described Africa as a “new frontier for inter-country adoption” after countries such as China, Russia, Romania and Ukraine tightened their rules on overseas adoption.

Fate of EAC children

The East African Legislative Assembly committee found out that children with albinism face enormous risks in Tanzania and it becomes greater during periods of political campaigns.

It said in Tanzania, there is a conflict between the law on marriage that allows marriage at 16 years and the Child Rights Act.

EALA General Purpose committee finding in Uganda realised that there are weak provisions existing on adoption of children in Uganda.

In Rwanda, there were a large number of children orphaned as result of genocide of 1994.

In Kenya, there is lack of information sharing mechanisms between the different mandated bodies.

Children in Kenya are subjected to abuse i.e, drugs, active labour and children on streets.

In developing countries, 34% of girls are married by age 18 and 1 in 7 before the age of 15 according to UNFPA.

EALA MPs are discussing a report of the committee on General purpose on the Oversight Activity on rights of children in EAC partner states.

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