President Yoweri Museveni has congratulated Members of Parliament for rejecting pressure from imperialists to impose what is not meant for Africa and agreed to assent to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 into law only if some changes are made in the Bill.
During an interaction with members of the NRM Parliamentary caucus at Kololo Independence grounds on Thursday, Museveni suggested that the bill be amended to include a provision for amnesty for those who come out voluntarily to receive help for their disorientation.
The President expressed concern about psychologically disoriented people and asked MPs to make corrections that would not frighten those who need rehabilitation to come out. He promised to meet the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament, the sponsor of the motion Hon. Asuman Basalirwa, and other interested parties next week to finalize 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,” said President Yoweri Museveni. “Therefore, I congratulate you for making that stand and also the bishops, the religious people, and the citizens,” he added.
The President reminded NRM MPs of the need to be patriots when fighting imperialists, citing the potential consequences, such as cutting the wage bill which is about 8 trillion shillings to cater to sectors like health where promoters of homosexuality are threatening to cut their aid to Uganda. The President emphasized the need to fight and sacrifice for the country, noting that those who want an easy life will end up being prostitutes.
During the discussion, there was a heated exchange on whether to make amendments to the bill or pass it in its current form. Legislators assured the President of their full support in implementing the bill once signed into law. The Woman Member of Parliament for Busia, Auma Hellen Wandera, told the President that homosexuals once rehabilitated can change. Ndorwa East MP David Bahati informed the President that the law he sponsored in 2001 and the current one both criminalize the acts of homosexuality and their promotion. Vice President Jessica Alupo called on MPs to support the President and Parliament to make a few changes to the bill so that it is passed when everybody is content.
The Chairman of NRM caucus, Hamson Obua, informed the President that his office has received reports with concerns from a section of MPs hailing from Lango and Acholi, Sebei and from some districts in Karamoja about cattle rustling, asking the President to find a decisive solution to this vice.
President Museveni assured the affected communities that the problem is solvable and he has already taken steps to address it.