South Sudan

Museveni: I’ll Sign Anti-Gay Bill If I Find It Right


patient sans-serif;”>According to the president’s Special Assistant for Communications, drug Ms Sarah Kagingo, illness Museveni said, “I will first go through it, if I find that it is right, I will sign but if I find that it is not right, I will send it back to Parliament.”

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The President was reacting to a comment made by the Head of the Pentecostal Churches in Uganda, Apostle Joseph Serwadda, encouraging the President to sign the bill passed last week by Parliament against homosexuality.

President Museveni has been quiet over the anti-gay bill all this long.

Anti-gay bill passed as Kadaga locks horns with Mbabazi

The parliament of Uganda recently passed the anti-gay bill amid fire and raging brimstone.

The leader of government business and also Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, shocked the House when he stood up in a move to block the bill’s passing citing lack of quorum but he was ignored as usual by the Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga, who chaired the sitting.

“Madam Speaker, we cannot go ahead to pass this bill because the numbers in the house is not enough to effect quorum,” Mbabazi told the House.

Mbabazi was backed by MPs opposing the bill led by Fox Odoi of West Budama county and Sam Owor Otada of Kiryandongo.

Other two people, who also appended their signatures in the report which all MPs in the House opposed apart from Mbabazi, include Abdu Katuntu of Bugweri and Chrispus Ayena of Oyam yet none of them attended during the passing of the bill.

Mbabazi argued that the government “is still in consultation about the bill and MPs should consider that before passing it”.

He was booed by ministers and his own NRM MPs.

Provision of the anti-gay bill

The controversial ACT provides an automatic life imprisonment for actions of the offenders, those found guilty of breaching the act.

The bill was passed into an Act to promote the traditional marriages and the youth from practising of the same sex marriages.

The ACT bars licensing of organisations which promote homosexuality and the Act provides seven years conviction to anybody who will aid and abate homosexuality.

It however, provides a fourteen year jail term for one convicted for the offence of homosexuality; and imprisonment only if one is proven guilty of the offence of aggravated homosexuality.

Pro-homosexuality NGOs to be deregistered

It also seeks to end “the promotion or recognition of such sexual relations in public institutions and other places through or with the support of any government entity in Uganda or any other non-governmental organisation inside or outside the country.”

“As soon as the President signs into law the Bill, NGOs known for promoting homosexuality will be immediately shut down as their operations will be in contravention of the new law,” a source told Chimpreports.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009, a Private Members’ Bill, was first presented to Parliament by Hon. David Bahati (NRM, Ndorwa West) in October 2009.

It was one of the pending bills not considered at the end of the 8th Parliament, but saved and re-introduced for consideration by the 9th Parliament.

The Bill was then referred to the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, which received submissions from among others the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Uganda Law Reform Commission, Uganda Human Rights Commission, Uganda Prisons Service, Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law and the National Association of Social Workers of Uganda.

Amnesty International cautions Museveni not to sign

The amnesty international came up very fast and warned president Museveni against signing the controversial bill.

“The passage of the Bill – which dramatically increases the criminal penalties for consensual sexual activity between adults of the same sex – amounts to a grave assault on human rights,” the organisation said in a statement seen by Chimpreports.

“In addition to violating rights to privacy, family life and equality, the bill threatens freedom of association and expression – all protected under Ugandan and international human rights law. It institutionalises discrimination against already marginalised lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals in the country.”

Aster van Kregten, Deputy Africa Director at Amnesty International, said “President Museveni must veto this wildly discriminatory legislation, which amounts to a grave assault on human rights and makes a mockery of the Ugandan constitution.

He added: “Passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was a retrograde step for Uganda’s Parliament, which has made some important progress on human rights in recent years, including criminalising torture. It flies in the face of the Ugandan government’s stated commitment to ensure all legislation complies with human rights.”

UK tycoon, Richard Branson, calls for boycotting investment in Uganda

On his blog Virgin with the catchphrase “let people love whoever they want”, Branson stated that “I have been courted by various people and government officials to do business in Uganda. I was seriously considering it”.

“However, the dreadful witch hunt against the gay community and lifetime sentences means it would be against my conscience to support this country.”

Branson also encouraged other investors worldwide to follow suit. “Uganda must reconsider or find it being ostracised by companies and tourists worldwide”.

He went on: “Governments must realise that people should be able to love whoever they want. It is not for any government (or anyone else) to ever make any judgements on people’s sexuality. They should instead celebrate when people build loving relationships that strengthen society, no matter who they are.”

Ugandans reacted very fast and told Branson “to go and invest his money in hell or alternatively, get a strong rope and hang himself” affirming that Uganda does not need to sacrifice people’s morality in order to develop.

Well, the bill is now on the table and all eyes are on President Museveni who has stated that he will first read through and determine whether to or not to sign it.


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