Bugisu MPs protest minister Mutuuzo ‘Imbalu’ comments

Bugisu MPs protest minister Mutuuzo 'Imbalu' comments
Young men participating in the Bagisu traditional circumcision ceremony popularly known as Imbalu in Mbale - Uganda. Courtesy Photo.

Mbale, Uganda | URN | Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga on Tuesday evening directed the state minister for gender and culture, Peace Mutuuzo, to present a statement on the alleged proposal to ban Imbalu – a traditional circumcision ritual among the Bagisu.

The directive followed complaints by legislators from Bugisu under their Bugisu Parliamentary Caucus calling for an apology and withdrawal of the state minister’s statement against the Imbalu cultural practice.

Mutuuzo recently described the Imbalu culture as an old fashioned practice which dehumanises circumcision and also encourages sexual activity among adolescents.

The furious MPs led by the Sironko Woman MP Florence Namboozo said that the minister’s statement that the culture encourages young people to engage in early sex had caused damage to the Bamasaaba community.

Namboozo described the minister’s comments as an insult to the Bamasaaba culture which they cherish a lot.

John Baptist Nambeshe, the Manjiya County MP also noted how the minister’s statement disregarded the rights of Bagisu.

In response, Kadaga informed parliament that she had accessed media reports concerning the state minister’s statement but was not sure that they were from the Minister hence directing her to provide a statement for clarity.