Museveni reassures on Anti-Gay Law: ‘Uganda will stay firm’

Mr Museveni on Tuesday this week assented to the Anti-Homsoexuality Bill 2023 a month after he had bounced back Parliament for further amendment.

President Yoweri Museveni (Photo/Courtesy)

KAMPALA, UGANDA: President Museveni has said Uganda will stand firm to protect the country’s moral values as the fight against homosexuality rages amid pressure from Western Donor countries.

Mr Museveni who was addressing the NRM Parliamentary Caucus Retreat at the National Leadership Institute (NALI) in Kyankwanzi District yesterday commended the MPs for their contribution to the fight against the LGBTQ acts and said the country will not succumb to intimidation in wake of the new legislation.

Mr Museveni on Tuesday this week assented to the Anti-Homsoexuality Bill 2023 a month after he had bounced back Parliament for further amendment.

The President speaking to MPs said after a thorough analysis with the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs, three positions were identified which led to the clarification and amendment of the bill and after these were clarified, he had to sign it into law.

“So that’s why, therefore, I persuaded your whips who came, to go back to Parliament and persuade you, that please make it clear that suspicion or merely being suspected cannot be criminalised, cannot and should not be criminalised because it is like a sick person. If somebody is sick, do you criminalise him for that? … This was what was cured and because the Attorney General was there, he captured it,” said Mr Museveni as he returned the bill to parliament in April for further amendment.

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President Museveni, however, said one of the officials from the World Bank pointed out two issues in the current law., and that the official was concerned about the requirement for employers to make sure that there are no homosexuals in their company and penalising owners for houses being rented by homosexuals.

“If that is there, then we should sort it out. So, these are the two areas which you should check again,” Mr Museveni said, before adding that the NRM is clear about its anti-gay stance.

“What we tell you in the day is what we shall tell you in the night. Therefore, the signing is finished, and nobody will move us. The other time when I met you at Kololo, I said you people should be ready for a war. And you cannot fight a war when you are a pleasure seeker if you like a soft life. So, war is not for soft life,” the President said.

President Museveni said homosexuality was considered a private matter in Africa.

“Homosexuality existed in Buganda, Bunyoro and Karagwe in Tanzania in the last 200 years with a few people rumoured to be homosexuals but there was no proof. The People were not encouraging it, but also, they were not fighting it because it was like a hidden, small secret of some few people,” Mr Museveni said.

The President also disclosed that when the issue emerged again in 2014, he tried to study the root causes of homosexuality.
“So, when it came up in 2014, this time I tried to study this issue. What is it? Is homosexuality genetic? Is it inherited by some people? Is it hormonal i.e., somebody gets an imbalance of hormones and ends up with some distortion? 

But when we had a long discussion, including a group that was brought by [Ms] Sarah Opendi to Entebbe involving many African people; the conclusion was a No. This is a psychological disorientation by some people at some stage – it’s not genetic, it’s not hormonal, it is psychological disorientation where somebody, because of some experience, hates the people you should love and loves the people you should not love. It’s like a sickness,” Mr Museveni said. 

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The 10-day Kyankwanzi retreat has been attended by more than 400 NRM Caucus members including Independents who are NRM-leaning, Vice President Maj (Rtd) Jessica Alupo, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja and NRM Secretary General Richard Todwong, among others.

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