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Stop bullying Uganda on gays Bill, Speaker Kadaga tells West

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Ms Kadaga (R Seated) speaks to the ambassadors at Parliament

Ms Kadaga (R Seated) speaks to the ambassadors at Parliament yesterday. Photo by Geffrey Sseruyange 

By Olive Eyotaru

Posted  Friday, January 10   2014 at  02:00

In Summary

Speaker of Parliament tells ambassadors that the sovereignty of Uganda should be respected at all costs.

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Parliament- The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, has warned the West against “bullying” Uganda over passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Addressing Uganda’s ambassadors abroad during a meeting with the House committee on Foreign Affairs yesterday, Ms Kadaga took a swipe at foreign countries for targeting Uganda, yet still keeping economic relations with other African countries with the same law.

“Mr Obama visited Senegal last year and tried to speak about gays rights. President Macky Sall told him off and he kept quiet throughout his tour.
Mr Branson, who has been making noise about the Bill, is the biggest investor in Nigeria, which has a similar law. Why didn’t he taunt them? Why are standards different for Uganda? This is bullying,” Ms Kadaga said.

The Speaker was responding to reports that some ambassadors were being harassed by their host countries over the Bill, which provides for a life imprisonment sentence for anyone convicted of homosexuality.

However, while meeting the same ambassadors on Monday, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi said the ruling party’s caucus will review (or veto) the Bill before the President finally signs it into law.

But Ms Kadaga said Uganda should not be held at ransom because some of the countries opposed to the Bill give the country financial support, stressing that the sovereignty of any country should be respected at all costs.

“This is about Uganda and what its people want. If these are the conditions for aid and loans…loans we pay with interest. Who is giving us free money? We pay. So I want to appeal to you the ambassadors, be strong and tell them off directly. Soon they will tell us that bestiality is fine and a foreign policy issue. Will you agree?” She said.

oeyotaru@ug.nationmedia.com