President Yoweri Museveni has said the legislation against gays [homosexuals and lesbians] in Uganda is “not necessary”.
Museveni was this morning addressing a group of reporters in the Japanese capital, Tokyo.
The President and First Lady, Janet Kataaha Museveni are currently in Japan on a 4-day working visit.
Museveni says he sees no need to keep pursuing anti-gay law that he signed last year but was later thrown out by a court.
The Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014 (previously called the “Kill the Gays bill” in the western mainstream media due to the originally proposed death penalty clauses) was submitted by the current State Minister of Finance for Planning, David Bahati on 14 October 2009.
It was passed by the Parliament of Uganda on 20 December 2013 with the death penalty proposal dropped in favour of life in prison.
The bill was signed into law by the President of Uganda on 24 February 2014.
The legislative proposal would broaden the criminalisation of same-sex relations in Uganda domestically, and further includes provisions for Ugandans who engage in same-sex relations outside of Uganda, asserting that they may be extradited for punishment back to Uganda, and includes penalties for individuals, companies, media organisations, or non-governmental organisations that support gays.
On 1 August 2014, the Constitutional Court of Uganda ruled the law invalid.
The proposed law was widely criticized in the West, including by President Barack Obama.
While visiting London in 2014, gays besieged Museveni at Savoy Hotel in London where he was reading while attending a 2-day Global African Investment Summit (TGAIS.
Earlier in the same year, while attending the London Business Forum, Museveni’s hotel was raided by gays mostly Ugandans protesting the signing of the anti-gay bill that outlawed homosexuality in the country.
Later in Texas where he was meeting investors, President Museveni’s hotel bookings were cancelled due to the pressure from gays.
He would later confess how “gays denied me shelter”.
Before going for the UN Summit in New York after Texas incident, President Museveni indicated he had changed his mind on the anti-gay law to “avoid endless wars and adverse economic effects”.
Museveni says the law was unnecessary
Speaking in Tokyo this morning, Museveni said “that law was not necessary”,
“…because we already have a law which was left by the British which deals with this issue,” he is quoted by Associated Press [AP] referring to an anti-sodomy law that dates from the colonial era.
On Business side, Museveni called for more Japanese investment, trade and tourism in Uganda, to complement Japan’s development assistance for infrastructure projects.
During his visit, the two countries signed a loan agreement for road improvement in Kampala, the Ugandan capital.