• World - Africa
  • Updated: June 01, 2023

Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Law: No One Will Make Us Move — President Museveni

Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Law: No One Will Make Us Move —

President Museveni.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday said "no one will make us move," in response to threats of sanctions from some Western countries since he signed into law the "Anti-Homosexuality Law 2023", considered to be one of the most repressive in the world.

"The NRM (National Resistance Movement, the ruling party, editor's note) has never had a double standard: what we tell you in the morning is what we will tell you in the evening.

"So, the bill has been signed, and nobody can make us shift," proclaimed Museveni at a gathering of governing party members, as stated in a news release released by the Ugandan president and on the NRM's official website.

"President Museveni urged Ugandans to stand firm, emphasizing that homosexuality is a serious issue that affects the entire human race." 

"He congratulated the legislators on their support, adding that once they fight for the right cause, no one can defeat them," according to the statement, referring to his speech to 400 NRM MPs assembled in Kyankwanzi, some 200 kilometres south of the city, on Wednesday.

According to the statement, the President further stated, "The other time I met you in Kololo (a Kampala district), I told you that you should be prepared for a war." And if you appreciate the good life, you can't go to battle if you're searching for pleasure."

These are the first public remarks by Uganda's President since the news on Monday that the "Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023" will be enacted.

This legislation imposes severe penalties for those who have homosexual relationships and "promote" homosexuality. The crime of "aggravated homosexuality" carries the death sentence, which has not been used in Uganda for many years.

The passage of this bill sparked outrage among human rights organizations and several Western countries.

Human rights campaigners in Uganda have asked the international world to censure their leaders.

Denouncing the bill as a "tragic attack" on human rights, US President Joe Biden said he has urged his government to investigate the impact of the "shameful" law on "all aspects of cooperation between the US and Uganda."

The US government is considering "additional measures," such as sanctions or immigration restrictions, for "anyone associated with human rights violations or corruption," he added.

Josep Borrell, the head of European diplomacy, also blasted a "contrary to human rights" bill.

"The Ugandan government must protect all of its citizens and ensure the respect of their fundamental rights." If it does not, ties with foreign partners would be jeopardized," he said.

Following the passage of legislation criminalizing homosexuality in 2014, overseas donors reduced their contributions.

Washington, in particular, stopped financing government programs and implemented immigration prohibitions. Countries throughout Europe, including Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands, had also blocked a portion of their bilateral funding.

The bill was later overturned by the Constitutional Court due to a technological flaw in the voting process.

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Rasheed Olajide Awoniyi

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