President Yoweri Museveni says that he is not bothered by the pressure from Western nations over his decision to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law, saying that while others may worry, he does not.
However, Museveni assented to the bill on May 26, 2023, imposing severe penalties, including death and life imprisonment, for individuals engaged in homosexual acts. In response to this decision, various Western powers, such as the United States and the European Union, threatened sanctions, fund withdrawals, and trade pact annulments because the law was discriminatory and contrary to international standards.
Museveni told uncovered news reporters, “And you can see. You can look at our economy. It is growing. Look at the inflation; it is one of the lowest in the whole world at 2.3 percent. You ask about the inflation in America. You ask them. You ask other countries? Why is inflation low? Because we told our people to start producing food.”.
The US has already declared its intention to remove Uganda from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade pact in January 2024. This decision stems from the US’ assessment that Uganda’s recent law undermines democratic processes. Additionally, the US also called for a court decision by January 1, 2024, regarding the law, which has faced criticism from other countries for being discriminatory, degrading, and inhumane, contradicting international laws ratified by Uganda.
Similarly, the World Bank (WB) announced its decision to suspend new loans to Uganda due to concerns that the law contradicts the fundamental values upheld by the US-based lender.
In conclusion, while delivering his Christmas message at State House Entebbe on Friday night, Museveni emphasized Uganda’s ability to stand independently, highlighting the country’s historical resilience and rich indigenous heritage lasting over 2000 years. He criticized leadership priorities, likening the situation to the war in Ukraine and Russia, where the focus on wheat instead of cassava and millet (richer in starch) was misplaced.
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