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The Politician Who Encouraged Men To Beat Their Wives Now Says He Has The "Highest Respect For Women"

His initial comments came just days after Uganda's president denounced domestic violence on International Women’s Day.

Last updated on March 15, 2018, at 8:08 a.m. ET

Posted on March 12, 2018, at 12:54 p.m. ET

A Ugandan politician is facing calls to resign after he said that men needed to beat their wives.

“As a man, you need to discipline your wife,” Onesimus Twinamasiko told Ugandan broadcaster NTV. “You need to, you know, touch her a bit and you tackle her and you beat her somehow to really, you know, streamline her.”

His comments come just days after Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni marked International Women’s Day (IWD) by condemning domestic violence.

“The president actually, I think, errored somehow,” Twinamasiko, who oversees the Bugangaizi East region of Uganda, told NTV.

"As a man, you need to discipline your wife...touch her a bit, tackle her and beat her to streamline her"- Onesmus Twinamasiko, MP, Bugangaizi East following comments by Museveni that men who beat women are cowards and should face the full wrath of the law https://t.co/yhoEVRk212

Twinamasiko said that a man who beats his wife is telling her to “get on the line,” and that it “shows the love, even. Otherwise, if you don’t, then that means you are not bothered [by] what the wife does."

At an IWD event last week, Museveni said men who abuse their partners should face the full force of the law, calling them “foolish and cowardly.”

Ugandans on Twitter found Twinamasiko’s comments even more appalling in light of Museveni’s statement. A hashtag is now circulating calling for the MP to resign.

We strongly condemn this act of abusing power through encouraging women beating. 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. #EndVAW

Very distraughting comments on 'disciplining women' from a very good friend, MP. Onesmus Twinamasiko, REAL men dnt BEAT women, they TALK to them! @NtvUganda

I find it hard to call Mr. Onesmus Twinamasiko a Honorable. That would be misplacing that word. Not after his comments about battering women.

Womyn deserve better than this! We demand better! The trivializing of violence against womyn must be inexcusable and men need to know that! #OnesmusTwinamasikoMustResign https://t.co/GD0znB0wQw

Here is a Member of Parliament promoting violence against women. Shame!! Among cattle keepers in Uganda it is unacceptable to beat cows, but an MP finds it ok to beat women?! #OnesmusTwinamasikoMustResign https://t.co/JsZtiJPB3O

TRASH! Last week they were all saying how much they love us...let me wait and see if some of that love will be sent our way when it counts! #OnesmusTwinamasikoMustResign https://t.co/K0Z0TphbF7

@ntvuganda @k_ophelia Am a little bit traumatized today morning watching these videos... We live in a world where politicians are now proudly sharing obscene comments and opinions on TV but it hurts so much when this 'war on women' escalates at home...#OnesmusTwinamasikoMustResign

Wow. This idiot leaves me speechless. No wonder he is a politician, they havs a special place in hell. #OnesmusTwinamasikoMustResign https://t.co/sUkjD2CGfr

Some used the hashtag to call out men who get defensive when women criticize them, but are silent when comments like Twinamasiko’s are made.

Women 🗣: Men are trash Men : Not all men 🤬.... Man: You should beat your wife Men: 🤷🏽‍♂️ #OnesmusTwinamasikoMustResign

I am so tired of this nonsense. It is no wonder that many an average man is battering their girlfriend or wife. We continue to normalise this BS. We remain quiet. We blame "militant feminists" who speak while these men get no consequences. #OnesmusTwinamasikoMustResign https://t.co/8DVWygYa0t

This is the mentality of many men. Your boss, your favorite teacher/lecturer, your favourite uncle, your brother, your father, your boyfriend who promises he only has your best interest at heart. This is not right! This can not be the norm!#OnesmusTwinamasikoMustResign

Others suggested that if Twinamasiko could not be fired for his comments, a portion of his salary should have to go toward fighting gender-based violence.

Just a thought, (and this is only if the rules don't provide for him to be sacked on those grounds), he has a significant %age of his pay directed to initiatives/programs fighting GBV & it's adverse effects for the rest of his tenure #OnesmusTwinamasikoMustResign

Twinamasiko tried to walk back his comments in an interview with the BBC, but said that he did not condone beatings within a marriage that could prove fatal, and that he was even open to his own wife hitting him.

"I don't mean beatings which cause injuries or death,” he said, “but a slap — I would feel fine! Because it's calling me to order. We would sit down and sort it out.”

He added that he has been slapped once by his wife “and it was OK with me, because we sorted out our differences. I also slapped her once. She had wronged me."

Twinamasiko issued a full apology on March 14, according to a local news site.

"For the avoidance of doubt, may I at the onset affirm my highest respect for the dignity of women, and my unwavering faith in the inviolability of women," the statement read. "I actually detest all forms of violence against women."

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