President Museveni has stood firm in his decision to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Act into law, despite international criticism and threats of funding cuts.
Speaking at a ruling party caucus retreat, President Museveni rallied Ugandans to support the law, emphasizing the serious consequences of homosexuality for the human race.
He praised members of Parliament for their overwhelming support in passing the law, which aims to protect Uganda’s cultural values and the integrity of the family.
“The other time when I met you at Kololo, I said you people should be ready for a war. And you cannot fight a war when you are a pleasure seeker, if you like a soft life. So, war is not for soft life,” Mr Museveni told MPs attending the ruling party’s parliamentary caucus retreat in Kyankwanzi yesterday.
The World Bank Group has joined other Western-leaning organizations in expressing concern over the new law. In a statement, the Bank stated that the law contradicts its values of non-discrimination and inclusion.
It highlighted potential barriers to vital medical care, disease screening, and precautions, but did not provide specific details on how the law would impact access to healthcare for LGBTQ+ individuals.
“The World Bank Group is highly concerned with Uganda’s enactment of the 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Act. If implemented, the Act would endanger people by placing an added barrier to vital medical care, disease screening, and precautions,” the statement said.
“Further, the Act is not consistent with the values of non-discrimination and inclusion that the institution upholds. To achieve its goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, the World Bank Group places inclusive development at the forefront with a focus on all groups, especially those who are marginalised, disadvantaged or vulnerable,” the statement adds.
Uganda’s Health Ministry and government officials rejected claims by U.S. President Joe Biden that HIV positive gay people in Uganda are now at greater risk.
They emphasized that medical practitioners in the country do not discriminate based on sexual orientation and provide healthcare to all individuals.
“Healthcare is for everyone regardless of who you are. We even look after those who are on death row. Our work is a calling; it is not about feeling and interest,” Dr Daniel Kyabayinze said.
“Americans are trying to frame it as if we are against certain groups. I don’t know why they are attaching the Anti-homosexuality Act to the Ministry of Health. It has nothing to do with health,” he added.
The Finance Ministry acknowledged that the World Bank’s statement was not unexpected and assured continued engagement to resolve any misunderstandings.
Uganda has significant loan facilities with the World Bank, and the approved projects focus on agricultural transformation, women’s enterprises, urban development, and electricity access.
The World Bank’s criticism of the anti-gay law adds to the growing list of Western groups and countries opposing it, including the European Union, the United Kingdom, UNAIDS, and the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis.
In the past, when a similar law was enacted in 2014, the World Bank postponed a loan intended for health sector support.