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Outrage over lawmaker’s wife beating push

The comment by a Ugandan male lawmaker, encouraging men to beat their wives, has provoked outrage among rights activists.

In comments carried by a Ugandan TV channel, the lawmaker advised men to beat their wives in order to discipline them.

Mr. Onesmus Twinamasiko’s remarks were a reaction to the speech by President Yoweri Museveni on Women’s Day on March 8.

The President had condemned assaults on women by husbands and called it cowardly.

Lawmaker wants men to beat their wives

But the lawmaker said in the TV interview on March 10, that as a man, “you need to discipline your wife”.

“You need to, you know, touch her a bit and you tackle her and you beat her somehow, you know, to really streamline her.”

The majority Christian East African country is conservative and, as in many countries on the continent, homosexuality is illegal.

But physical abuse of women is a crime under laws that penalize various forms of assault.

The remarks have since triggered mostly condemnation online and in the Ugandan press.

Onesmus responded in an interview with the BBC on Monday that slaps are “fine” but “beatings which cause injuries or death” are unacceptable.

He also told Reuters that he was being comic and that his remarks were misunderstood.

“It is a shock that an honorable member of parliament … could mention such words that justified violence,” said Diana Kagere Mugerwa, program officer at Uganda’s Centre for Domestic Violence Prevention.

She also said he should make a public apology to women and the nation “because he is abrogating the constitution that he swore to protect.”

Though the lawmaker has tendered an apology but many believe it is not far reaching enough.

BMT @Ngaha_nayanga said “There must be consequences for Onesmus Twinamasiko’s actions.His rubbish apology shouldn’t distract us from the fact that he publicly encouraged violence against women.”


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