Women legislators under the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) have demanded an apology from Bugangaizi East MP, Onesmus Twinamatsiko for his support towards domestic violence.
The MP was quoted in a TV interview saying, “as a man, you need to discipline your wife, you need to touch her a bit; tackle her and beat her somehow, to streamline her”.
Kamwenge Woman MP, Dorothy Azairwe Nshaija took to the floor of the House on Tuesday and noted that such statements from a person at the level of an MP are so unfortunate to the country and women in particular.
“As you are aware, the Domestic Violence Act, 2010 and other laws in Uganda prohibit wife beating and all other forms of violence against all family members including husbands; Uganda government recognizes that gender based violence is a serious problem,” Azairwe said.
“We demand that the MP from Bugangaizi East should withdraw his statement with apology on the floor of Parliament and also make a public apology in the media,” Azairwe demanded.
Similarly, Lira Woman MP, Joy Atim demanded that Twinamatsiko comes out to explain why he is perpetrating violence against women yet he is the same legislator meant to make laws on behalf of the same women he has waged war on.
“I don’t want a situation where somebody who is supposed to legislate on behalf of women is talking negatively like that”.
“He talks of streamlining as if we are motor vehicles. It is high time the men in this country knew we are human beings just like them. We call for this MP to apologize to the women in this country and to withdraw his stament,” Atim said in her submission.
In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah who presided over the House noted that Twinamatsiko had already notified his Office that he would make a statement on the floor of the House.
The criticism from female legislators follows similar condemnation by Akina Mama was Afrika, a women’s leadership development organization in Ugands which on Monday demanded that the embattled MP retracts his statement.
“We demand that he retracts the statements and apologizes publicly for legitimizing the beating of women. We strongly condemn this act of abusing power through encouraging women beating,” Akina Mama wa Afrika tweeted yesterday.
They added; “Not only is wife beating unacceptable, appalling and criminal behavior which must be punished; it is a product of patriarchy with perpetuates male authority through the use of force”.