Deputies pass bill on genocide ideology

KIMIHURURA - Members of the Lower Chamber of Parliament Friday passed a bill on genocide ideology. The bill was passed after a heated debate arising from some of the articles constituting the proposed law.
Abbas Mukama
Abbas Mukama

KIMIHURURA -Members of the Lower Chamber of Parliament Friday passed a bill on genocide ideology.

The bill was passed after a heated debate arising from some of the articles constituting the proposed law.

MP Abbas Mukama (right) broke the silence when it came to voting article 13 of the bill, which subjects a person that will wrongfully accuse someone of habouring the ideology to serve half the punishment of the sentence the accused would have served on conviction.

The controversy was ignited by the fact that it is always difficult to get evidence to convict such a person.

"I am totally disappointed; the article only serves to give immunity to those people who continue to harbour the ideology of genocide. I am worried the law might not achieve its intended objectives," Mukama argued.

He said that he was not against the whole bill, but article thirteen provides a loophole in the much deserved law to punish all those with genocide ideology in the country.

His colleague Alfred Kayiranga Rwasa reminded the August House that evidence on the ideology is difficult to trace and many people would be victimised upon because of this article.

"I am not against the bill but I suggest that the vague article be nullified since it is deemed to fail our initiative of fighting the vice," MP Donatilla Mukabalisa stressed.

Another MP who spoke on condition of anonymity said shortly after the session that they will convince the Senate to scrap the article.

According to the bill, any person convicted of habouring genocide ideology shall be sentenced to an imprisonment of ten to twenty-five years and a fine ranging between Frw200, 000 and Frw1 million.

It stipulates that any person found guilty of the crime of genocide ideology or commits recidivism shall be sentenced to life imprisonment.

The bill against crimes related to genocide ideology also provides that an association, a political organisation or a non-profit making organisation convicted of the ideology shall be subjected to dissolution and a fine of up to Frw5 million.

"We have not been punishing those found guilty of the crime of genocide ideology because there was no law in place," Vice Speaker Denis Polisi said.

He added that trouble awaits those who still harbour the vice saying that the new law does not grant immunity to anyone.

Ends

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