Speaker summons Gender minister over proposed Imbalu ban
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has directed State Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development Peace Mutuzo to make a statement before the House on a proposal to ban a traditional Bugisu circumcision ceremony called Imbalu.
Mutuuzo, while addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Center last week, was quoted stating that Imbalu is a barbaric practice, which dehumanizes the practice of circumcision and also encourages sexual activity among minors.
Mutuuzo, who was speaking ahead of International Family Day on May 15th 2017, asserted that instead of using crude methods of circumcision where traditional surgeons use one instrument to cut the boys, it would be advisable for them to instead do it at hospitals where safe male circumcision services are provided.
However her revelations did not go down well with sections of the public, including legislators from Bugisu sub region.
The Bugisu Parliamentary Group on May 16, 2017 called a press conference, where they rebuked the minister for what they termed as attempts to ban their cultural practices and vowed to fight it.
Vincent Wobwoya, Budadiri East MP, said the Imbalu is a deeply entrenched tradition among them, which cannot be wished away by a minister who has no idea of their cultural norms.
During the afternoon plenary sitting, Sironko Woman Member of Parliament, Florence Nambozo raised the matter, questioning the minister’s audacity to
“The circumcision practice she wants to ban is the same one through which we were born,” an angry Nambozo told the House.
In response, Kadaga informed the House that she had heard media reports about the matter but asked that the minister provides a statement to the MPs to clarify the matter.