President Yoweri Museveni has defended his signing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into Law calling on all Ugandans to remain firm as no amount of intimidation or actions will deter the resolve of the people of Uganda.
The President stated that Uganda will stand firm, and no amount of intimidation or actions will sway us. He was flanked by the First Lady Mrs. Janet Museveni, also the Minister of Education and Sports today at the NRM Parliamentary Caucus Retreat currently in progress at the National Leadership Institute (NALI) in Kyankwanzi district.
The retreat in its 5th day of the 10 days of its sitting and is attended by over 400 NRM Caucus members including Independents who are NRM leaning.
Others include the Vice President Rtd. Major Jessica Alupo, the Prime Minister; Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja, the Secretary General of NRM Hon. Richard Todwong and the leadership of the NRM Secretariat as well as Cabinet Ministers.
President Museveni urged Ugandans to remain firm pointing out that the issue of homosexuality is a serious one that concerns the human race. He commended the Members of Parliament for their support adding that once they are fighting for the right cause no one can defeat them.
He said that he returned the Bill to Parliament because he had identified some illogicalities that had to be amended. The President cautioned the members to always strive for the truth and avoid discussing issues for the purpose of pleasing this group or that pointing out that even God detests dishonest people. “If you are fighting for the right cause, there’s no force which can defeat you. But the problem I sometimes get with some of your groups is that you don’t take care to make sure that you are on the right side. This is why, I returned the bill last time, because I could see some illogicalities in it”.
President Museveni said that the issue of homosexuality is a very serious one that centers around the human race. He said the issue requires a lot of seriousness when handling it.
The President informed the NRM Caucus that homosexuality was whispered and rumored about 200 years ago in this part of the world but was not publicized or promoted; it was considered purely private. “Homosexuality existed in Buganda, Bunyoro and Karagwe in Tanzania in the last 200 years with a few people rumored to be homosexuals but there was no proof. The People were not encouraging it, but also, they were not fighting it because it was like a hidden, small secret of some few people”.
President Museveni disclosed that when the issue emerged again in 2014, he tried to study the root causes of the vice to determine the genesis of it i.e., whether it was genetic, hormonal or hereditary.
“So, when it came up in 2014, this time I tried to study this issue. What is it? Is homosexuality genetic? Is it inherited by some people? Is it hormonal i.e., somebody gets an imbalance of hormones and ends up with some distortion? Etc.
But when we had a long discussion, including a group that was brought by Sarah Opendi to Entebbe involving many African people; the conclusion was a No. This is a psychological disorientation by some people at some stage – it’s not genetic, it’s not hormonal, it is psychological disorientation where somebody, because of some experience, hates the people you should love and loves the people you should not love. It’s like a sickness.”
The President said that after thorough analysis with the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs, three positions were identified which led to the clarification and amendment of the Homosexuality Bill. “So, if that is the case, then what do you do? That’s why, therefore, I advised your whips, the ones I invited, to say, if somebody is psychologically disoriented, you can’t punish him for that. You can’t criminalize him for that. So that’s why, therefore, I persuaded your whips who came, to go back to Parliament and persuade you, that please make it clear that suspicion or merely being suspected cannot be criminalized, cannot and should not be criminalized because it is like a sick person. If somebody is sick, do you criminalize him for that?” He asked.
“Now I’m glad when they went back, apparently, they cured this. This was what was cured and because the Attorney General was there, he captured it. They did, and they added something saying that for the avoidance of doubt, mere suspicion will not be a problem. So, then what is the problem? The problem is that, yes, you are disoriented. You have got a problem to yourself. Now, don’t try to recruit others. If you try to recruit people into a disorientation, then we go for you. We punish you. That’s number one.
“But secondly, if you violently grab some children and you rape them and so on and so forth, we kill you. And that one I totally support, and I will support”.
If you are suspected of being a homosexual, it is not an offense in itself. You are a person to be helped on the issue of homosexuality. If you want help it should be given, because it was said that some of the people can be helped to get back to normal. But secondly, if you want now to disorient others, we go for you, we punish you by imprisonment. If you go beyond that and you start raping children and so on, we kill you. So there, we are,” he said.
President Museveni however told the NRM Caucus members of the concern by one of the officials from the World Bank who pointed out two issues in the current bill, that, if necessary, will be referred back to Parliament for scrutiny and amendment. He told them that NRM has never for all these years wanted to find itself on the wrong side of issues.
The two issues raised by the official include; one requiring Employers to make sure that there are no homosexuals in their company and the second concern to blame Real Estate owners for houses being rented by homosexuals. “If that is there, then we should sort it out. So, these are the two areas which you should check again.
The President said that the NRM has never had two languages. “What we tell you in the day is what we shall tell you in the night. Therefore, the signing is finished, nobody will move us,” he said. “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,” the President further told the Caucus members.