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Museveni ready for battle on gays

By: SOLOMON ARINAITWE

Kampala: After finally agreeing that he will assent to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, controversially passed by Parliament in December last year, President Museveni has warned that he is ready for “battle” with “outside groups” sympathetic to homosexuals.

On the day he told NRM MPs in Kyankwanzi that there is “no scientific proof yet that people are homosexuals by genetics,”- a condition he had previously given for not assenting to the Bill-the President quickly declared a “big battle with outside groups,” who have been lobbying against the Bill.

“It is on the strength [that people are homosexuals by genetics] that I am going to sign the bill. I know we are going to have a big battle with the outside groups about this, but I will tell them what our scientists have to say,” Mr Museveni was quoted by a State House press statement released yesterday.

Pressure against Bill

In Kyankwanzi, the President did not delve into details about the “outside groups” he was referring to, but the Anti-Homosexuality Bill has been campaigned against by lobby groups in the West.

Last month, the Robert F. Kennedy Centre for Justice and Human Rights and the vocal South African Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu were engaging in clandestine diplomatic maneuvers in a bid to persuade Mr Museveni not to sign the bill.

US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) also voiced displeasure towards the bill, labeling it “repugnant” and “of no benefit to Ugandans.”

“It only serves to jeopardise basic rights – and[the President should] reject it,” Mr Daniel Bekele, the HRW Africa director, was quoted in a statement last year.

As pressure against the Bill reached a crescendo, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi told Uganda’s foreign envoys last month that the NRM Caucus in Parliament will review the Bill before Mr Museveni assents to it. It is unclear whether such a review was conducted.

The Bill also put the Executive and the Speaker on collision course.

Last month, Mr Museveni penned a strongly-worded letter to Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, accusing her of leading “a small group of our MPs” into passing the Bill without quorum even after he had advised the dropping of the bill until the government had thoroughly studied it.

Source: Daily Monitor

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