By Deo Walusimbi
Just hours after Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni agreed to assent to the controversial Anti-homosexuality bill which Parliament passed in December last year, US President Barack Obama has sent a stern warning to his Counterpart, not to dare append his signature on the bill.
While addressing NRM MPs at the party’s retreat in Kyankwanzi last Saturday, Museveni agreed to assent to the bill after receiving a scientific report regarding the genetic evidence of homosexuality.
The report presented by a team of doctors indicates that homosexuals are not genetic, prompting Museveni to declare his willingness to sign the anti-homosexual bill.
But the president was conscious about the controversy that will be caused by his actions especially from the western world.
“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,” he said.
But before he [Museveni] could sign this bill, America’s Obama has urged him to desist from violating “freedoms and universal human rights” which America has “Consistently stood for”, according to a statement from the white house issued on February 16 2014.
“As a country and a people, the United States has consistently stood for the protection of fundamental freedoms and universal human rights. We believe that people everywhere should be treated equally, with dignity and respect, and that they should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential, no matter who they are or whom they love” Obama said in a statement.
President Obama, who is origin is in Africa, could not hide his “disappointment” in Uganda for having enacted such obnoxious piece of legislation against the gay community.
“That is why I am so deeply disappointed that Uganda will shortly enact legislation that would criminalize homosexuality. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, once law, will be more than an affront and a danger to the gay community in Uganda. It will be a step backward for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on Uganda’s commitment to protecting the human rights of its people. It also will mark a serious setback for all those around the world who share a commitment to freedom, justice and equal rights”
He thus completes his warning to Museveni by warning him that if he assents to the bill, it will complicate USA’s relationship with Uganda.
“As we have conveyed to President Museveni, enacting this legislation will complicate our valued relationship with Uganda. At a time when, tragically, we are seeing an increase in reports of violence and harassment targeting members of the LGBT community from Russia to Nigeria, I salute all those in Uganda and around the world who remain committed to respecting the human rights and fundamental human dignity of all persons” the statement said.
Human rights groups both on the Ugandan and International scenes have opposed this bill since 2009 when it was first introduced in Parliament by Ndorwa West MP David Bahati.