Subject: [fem-women2000 497] ALERT FOR ACTION/ Uganda (FWD)
From: lalamaziwa <>
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2000 10:48:25 +0900
Seq: 497

Forwarded by lalamaziwa <>
---------------- Original message follows ----------------
 From: "Leslie Wright" <>
 To: <>
 Cc: "Charlotte" <>
 Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 23:45:01 -0400
 Subject: [ngo-csw-ny] Fw: ALERT FOR ACTION

This is something for you to pass on to your networks.  Leslie
----- Original Message ----- 
Sent: Wednesday, July 19, 2000 7:37 AM

Dear Friends,

One of the daily newspapers the Sunday Monitor of July 2nd, reported
that the Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Hon. Jane Frances Kuka was
alleged to have been manhandled and slapped several times by Mr. David
Chebrot, Member of Parliament for Tingey County - Kapchorwa district in
Uganda. Hon Kuka had gone to officiate at the opening of a workshop on
Female Genital Mutilation organised by UNFPA at the Green-Field Hotel in
Kapchorwa town on 27th June.

Chebrot is reported to have been unapologetic for his public misconduct.
He arrogantly said "This is a lesson to you. You have a lot of lugambo
(rumours)" and he further told the Kapchorwa Resident District
Commissioner that "punching her was the best lesson for Kuka".

Women's Organisations responded to this by paying a solidarity visit to
Hon. Kuka to get the details of the whole situation, and discuss with
her ways in which she felt the women activists could support her. She
informed the activists that she has been harassed by the said man for a
very long time and on this specific incident, Hon. Chebrot almost
slapped her had it not been the cultural elders who restrained him. He
however, used a lot of abusive language and belittled her before the
people she is supposed to lead. 

After the meeting Hon. Kuka accepted to go public since the assault was
done publicly. A Press Conference was called on 13th July 2000. A copy
of the Press Statement is attached.

In response to the press reports calling on Hon. David Chebrot to
publicly apologise to Hon. Kuka and the entire women's movement in
Uganda, Hon. Chebrot is reported (The New Vision 15th July 2000) to have
said "Apologise for doing what? Iam not going to apologise to anybody. I
will not apologise for what I have not done". He also attacked women's
organisations saying they should have approached him to ask what
happened. He said they were acting impulsively, implying women were
incapable of making rational decisions. He also continues to traumatise
Hon. Kuka by saying publicly that she needed help and not protection
>from him as if she is mentally disturbed.

As Ugandan women we feel that the positive policies of women's
empowerment and affirmative action which have been put in place are
meaningless if violence against women is tolerated in any circumstance.
It is very unfortunate that a Member of Parliament (one of the policy
makers) like the Hon. David Chebrot can assault a Woman Minister and
refuse to apologise publicly. What message does this send to the women
of Uganda? If this can be done to a woman minister with impunity, what
is the fate of ordinary women?

We feel this is an issue which needs immediate action if patriarchy is
to be completely eliminated from our society. Hon. Kuka is one of the
gallant women who has been at the forefront of the fight against female
genital mutilation. If women have managed to fight violations inflicted
upon them in private, then it becomes more crucial to fight any violence
inflicted in public. Women's efforts to eliminate patriarchy from the
Ugandan society and the government's policies of women's empowerment and
affirmative action will have been dealt a serious blow if we do not
protest against Hon. Chebrot's action and demand for justice for Hon.

We request you to show solidarity by writing letters to the under
mentioned officials calling for a public apology from Hon. David
Chebrot; and request the government of Uganda to come out with a stand
over this issue.

His Excellency
The President of Uganda
P.O.Box 7168

Fax: 256-41-235459/344012

Hon Frances Ayume
Parliament of Uganda
P.O.Box 7178
Fax: 265-41-235461

Hon David Chebrot
Member of Parliament
Tingey County
P.O.Box 7178

Fax: 256-41-235461

Ms Margaret Sekagya
Human Rights Commission
P.O.Box 4929

Fax: 256-41-255261

Please also send letters of support to;

Hon: Jane Frances Kuka
Minister of State for the Disaster Preparedness and Refugees
Office of the Prime Minister
P.O.Box 341

Fax: 256-41-349194/5




As representatives of the women's movement in Uganda and human rights
activists, we would like to condemn the public humiliation of the
Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees in the Prime
Minister's Office, Hon. Jane Frances Kuka by Tingey County MP, Dr Steven

According to Hon Kuka, Dr. Chebrot attacked her at a public function in
her constituency and threatened to violently assault her. He used strong
abusive language against her and almost manhandled her but was
restrained by some elders and people who had come to attend the function.
In his outburst Chebrot referred to Minister Kuka as being "a stupid
woman, useless and not fit to be a Minister". 

This was not the first time for Dr. Chebrot to behave in such an
uncivilised manner towards the Minister. In the past he has not only
challenged her appointment as a Government Minister, but also used every
public function to humiliate her before the elders in Kapchorwa and even
politically de-campaigned her in her constituency. This kind of torture
has been going on for over 10 years now and we commend Mrs. Kuka for
having finally gathered the courage to go public and expose Dr. Chebrot.

Minister Kuka is one of the gallant women activists in Uganda who has
courageously fought and successfully combated Female Genital Mutilation
(FGM) in Uganda and worldwide. This struggle has earned her national and
international recognition and awards. She is a woman leader that has
tirelessly fought for the girl-child education, women's health concerns
and the empowerment of the people of Kapchorwa. Her achievements as a
deputy Minister of Gender, Youth and Culture and in her present post
cannot be under-estimated. 

Amidst all these achievements, Minister Kuka has silently suffered the
agony of being a leader in a partriachal and male dominated domain of
power. She has had to face rejection from her community and public and
private humiliation from some of the male leaders in her constituency.

As the women's movement in Uganda, we would like in solidarity with
Minister Kuka to condemn the act of Dr Chebrot as an affront to women's
dignity and advancement. The violent verbal and psychological attacks
emitted out on Mrs. Kuka are not only uncalled for but barbaric,
shameful and disgusting. By virtue of his status in society, Dr Chebrot
should be aware that any act of intimidation, threatening language and
gestures is tantamount to violence.

As a district leader and a national legislator, we the women of Uganda
would like Dr Chebrot to make a public apology to Minister Jane Frances
Kuka and all Ugandan women. Much as the act may seem to have been
targeting a single and isolated woman, it was a violent act against
humanity. We come together as the women of Uganda to say that we can no
longer tolerate violence against anybody and particularly women.

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