Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has reignited the debate on homosexuality in the country by warning against campaigns supporting the rights of gays in Uganda.
Homosexual acts are already illegal in Uganda courtesy of a controversial law signed in 2014 that prescribed life sentences for those who are arrested on charges of engaging in gay sex or same sex marriage.
On Wednesday, the president who was most likely reacting to the discussion on the rights of LGBTQs in Kenya termed gay rights as “nonsense.
“Don’t bring any more nonsense here… We were in Washington, [and] this time the Americans organised the meeting well because they didn’t bring up these issues. They concentrated on business which was good. They didn’t bring up issues about homosexuality. But if they would have brought those we would have had problems,” said the president.
Museveni, who has been in power since 1986 has never hidden his dislike for homosexuals. He has in previous interviews referred to them as deviants who have deviated from the normal and have no place in society.
Uganda is one of the 32 countries in Africa including Kenya that have made it illegal to have sexual relations with someone of the same gender. Cases of homosexuals being dragged to court are however rare in the continent despite the tough laws.
The killing of Edwin Chiloba, a LGBTQ activist from Eldoret has however reignited a debate on the safety of homosexuals. Many western countries and lobby groups have taken the opportunity to raise noise about the prejudice faced by homosexuals in Africa.
“The killing has exposed the constant struggle of LGBT+ people in a country where, as in much of Africa, homosexuality remains taboo and gay sex is punishable with prison,” said the Financial Times yesterday.
The United States has even offered to help in investigating Chiloba’s murder
“When violence stems from possible bias or stigma, it indirectly harms all members of the targeted community,” said Ned Price, state department spokesperson. “We urge and expect the Kenyans to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation.”