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US group, Bishop Tutu ‘compel’ Museveni not to sign anti-gay Bill

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By ISMAIL MUSA LADU

Posted  Tuesday, January 21   2014 at  02:00
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Kampala

President Museveni has for the second time in as many weeks not only reiterated his displeasure over the Anti-Homosexuality Bill which was passed by Parliament late last month, but also reaffirmed his earlier position that he will not sign the legislation into law in its current shape.

It is understood that several secret diplomatic maneuvers being facilitated by powerful organisations in the West, among them Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and the vocal South African Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu have been applying pressure on President Museveni, compelling him to withhold his signature on the anti-gay Bill.

According to the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) statement, Mr Museveni is quoted to have said he is planning to introduce a new legislation that will focus on protecting the minors from being sexually exploited.

“President Museveni pledged to reject the Bill as currently drafted, calling the legislation “fascist.” The President stated that he will consult with his party and plans to introduce a new piece of legislation aimed at protecting minors from being coerced into sexual activity,” the RFK press statement quoted the President Museveni as having said.

The delegation from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) met with President Museveni on Saturday at State House, Entebbe, to discuss the Anti-Homosexuality Bill passed by Parliament on December 20, 2013.

This followed last month written request by Kerry Kennedy, president of the RFK Center, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu to the President expressing their concern over the Bill, appealling for further discussion on the matter.

However, the Presidential Press Secretary, Mr Tamale Mirundi refuted claims that the President’s position on the anti-gay Bill was as a result of sustained pressure from the powerful lobby groups from Western countries.

On Christmas Day Museveni said before assenting to the Bill, he would check “it is not right” then he would send it back to Parliament. Earlier in the year he told the NRM caucus that he had had a 45-minute telephone call from then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the Bill.

iladu@ug.nationmedia.com