President Yoweri Museveni has signed into law Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023, a move which now enforces tougher measures against people who pronounce themselves as gay in the East African country.
The restrictive anti-gay bill comes with tough punishments and fines for those convicted on promoting, recruiting and practicing homosexuality or lesbianism in Uganda. The law also provides for a life sentence in prison for an individual convicted of of same sexual acts in the country.
The Speaker of Parliament Rt Hon Anita Among Annet tweeted on Monday, May 29, 2023, confirming that the President assented to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill to become a new law leaning to his powers enshrined in Article 91(3) of the constitution of Uganda.
“His Excellency, the President of the republic of Uganda, General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has executed his constitutional mandate as prescribed by Article 91 (3) (a) of the Constitution. He has assented to the Anti-Homosexuality Act [sic]. As the Parliament of Uganda, we have answered the cries of our people,” Ms Among tweeted on Monday.
“We have stood strong to defend the culture, values and aspirations of our people as per objectives 19 & 24 of our national objectives and directive principles of state policy,” she added.
The Speaker also asked the duty bearers under the law to execute the mandate bestowed upon them in the Anti-Homosexuality Act.
“The people of Uganda have spoken, and it is your duty now to enforce the law in a fair, steadfast, and firm manner,” she said.
Parliament modified the bill on May 2 after its initial March 21 draft sparked international condemnation for targeting people identifying as LGBQT.
The President has been under intense pressure from his western donors who have categorically stated that Uganda risks to lose on funding if the anti-homosexuality bill is signed into law.
The bill was first introduced in parliament and passed in December 2013, signed into law in February 2014 but quashed by courts of law on grounds of quorum in August 2014 before it was this year re-introduced by Bugiri legislator Asuman Basalilwa and first passed on 22nd March 2023 but returned by the president early last month.
Making the tough decision to sign the bill into law now pauses a high chance that government will now have to take care of the Ugandans living with HIV/AIDs and other funding in key sectors of Health, Security, Education, governance, Agriculture, transport among others.
The foreign powers have termed it a bad bill now a bad law which will infringe on the rights of Ugandans and will deter the fight against HIV/AIDs. Uganda gets over $300 million from western backed organizations like USAID, UNAIDS, PEPFAR which help in buying drugs for the over One million Ugandans living with HIV/AIDS.