Anti-gay Bill: Museveni lauds MPs for 'rejecting pressure from imperialists'

Government Chief Whip Hamson Obua (left) addresses the media at Parliament after the NRM Caucus meeting at Kololo Independence Grounds on April 20, 2023. PHOTO/ DAVID LUBOWA

What you need to know:

  • In a briefing shared by State House, President Museveni is said to have lauded lawmakers for having rejected international pressure.

President Museveni, together with National Resistance Movement (NRM) legislators, yesterday resolved to return the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023, to the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs where deeper scrutiny and revisions will be made before the it is considered for assent.

The resolution arrived at during the NRM Parliamentary Caucus was communicated by the Government Chief Whip, Mr Hamson Obua, in a press briefing convened at Parliament last night.

In a briefing shared by State House, President Museveni is said to have lauded lawmakers for having rejected international pressure and shielded Uganda’s moral fabric during the passing of the Bill.

“It is good that you rejected the pressure from the imperialists. Those imperialists have been messing up the world for 600 years causing so much damage,” President Museveni is quoted in the release.

According to Mr Obua, the meeting among lawmakers on the said Committee will be convened at either State House Entebbe or State House Nakasero.

He indicated that Mr Museveni, also NRM National chairperson, was largely in support of the major provisions contained in the Bill passed over a month ago.

“All the provisions contained in the Bill in regard to promotion, recruitment, publishing acts of homosexuality have been upheld. There are areas that we want to see in principle,” Mr Obua said.

Mr Museveni was particularly concerned on major areas, one of which was raised by the Deputy Attorney General. 

In an interview with this publication, the Mubende Municipality MP, Mr Bashir Lubega Ssempa, who attended the caucus, said the Deputy Attorney General, Mr Jackson Kafuuzi, briefed the gathering and highlighted the problematic sections.

“There is a problem with Section 14 of the Bill, which says someone has a mandate to report a person who undertakes homosexuality. The Attorney General said in law, there is no way you can force somebody to report and that was going to cause a problem,” Mr Lubega said.

In the same realm, the said provision once catered for in the Bill, will, according to Mr Obua, not protect children and other persons who are innocently recruited into the practice but also encourage others to come out on the same.

“There are these victims who are children, are you going to criminalise them? Supposing they want to come out, must you punish them with the law,” Mr Obua said.

He added: “So, we are saying for purposes of rehabilitating, because the Bill as it is, is also criminalising that aspect, we want to create room for our children who have been in this act to have an opportunity to come out and they are protected.”

However, lawmakers such as the Butiru County MP, Mr Geoffrey Wakooli, are said to have told members at the meeting to consider such persons while in custody.

“And for us, we were submitting that rehabilitation can be actually done in prison cells, where these people who have come in and have been convicted can be given special attention,” Mr Wakooli said.