On 21st March 2023, the parliament of Uganda passed the tough Anti-Homosexuality bill which is coming with a cocktail of strict penalties, fines and punishments for the perpetrators of the vice.
However, prior to the passing of this contentious bill, even after passing it. Museveni and his government have received numerous threats of sanctions from local organizations and international bodies and leaders.
These have urged president Museveni not to assent to the bill which they say infringes on several provisions of human rights and they say Uganda risks to lose huge funding from the donors which will deter the operation of key government sectors.
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They point out key areas where government depends on foreign support especially in the fight against HIV/ AIDs where agencies like UNAIDs and USAID put a lot of money in programs related to the fight against HIV for the last 30 years.
President Museveni faces intense pressure regarding this bill and is set to decide between the huge funding and protecting the country’s morals. Back home, several leaders including politicians, cultural and religious leaders have urged him to sign the bill into law to protect the young generation which is bound to be recruited by the promoters of homosexuality.
From outside US’s Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, European Union leaders, UNAIDs director Winnie Byanyima among others have urged the president not to sign the bad anti-homosexuality bill.
.@UNAIDS urges the Government of Uganda to not enact harmful law that threatens public health & curtails the human rights of people living with HIV and some of the most vulnerable people of 🇺🇬 to access life-saving services.https://t.co/iidBywxCDR https://t.co/LbFh0M7Hbv
— Winnie Byanyima (@Winnie_Byanyima) March 23, 2023
The Anti-Homosexuality Act passed by the Ugandan Parliament yesterday would undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We urge the Ugandan Government to strongly reconsider the implementation of this legislation.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 22, 2023
However, several individuals like they did to the first bill even after Museveni signing it into law in February 2014, they have vowed to run to court to quash the Anti-Homosexuality bill claiming it’s not necessary since the same provisions are duplicated from the Penal Code. Notably among these is East Budama West Constituency legislator Fox Odoi, Veteran Journalist Andrew Mwenda and journalist Simon Muyanga Lutaaya.
While on last week’s political talk show dubbed ON THE SPOT hosted by Patrick Kamara, Andrew Mwenda clearly stated that sex between two mature consenting men or two mature consenting women should not be criminal.
If i sit in the privacy of my bedroom with a fellow man who is also consenting, what have i taken from Medard or anybody? The two of us will be consenting. Why do you want to criminalize that?-said Andrew Mwenda
He further vowed to strike the down the bill should president Museveni sign it into law.
“If Museveni signs this Anti-Homosexuality law, i promise you I Andrew Mwenda i will go to the constitutional court to challenge it”-Mwenda vowed
If Museveni signs this Anti- Homosexuality law, I promise you I Andrew Mwenda I will go to the constitutional court to challenge it. -Andrew Mwenda, Political Analyst.
According to the law of the land, the president has 30 days to make his decision on a bill passed by parliament and sent to him for signing to make it a law. In the 30 days, the president can sign the bill into law and it’s enforcement starts immediately or refers it back into parliament on basis of a certain provision and writes to the speaker about this decision.
Going the process, the bill was passed by parliament on 21st March and we presume the officer of the clerk to parliament prepares copies of authentication and assent of the president and the copies are sent to the president.
Let’s now imagine if the clerk sent the copies to the president on 23rd of March, the president has until the 21st of April 2023 to make his decision clear to Uganda whether he has signed the tough bill into law or he has sent it back to parliament for reconsideration.
The bill maybe reconsidered and then presented to the presented for approval. However, it may become law without the president’s assent if he returns it to parliament two times. It should have of at least two thirds of all MPs.
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