Is this real or mere political pandering to increase his leadership popularity ?
By Melanie Nathan, February 14, 2014.
Unconfirmed reports are coming in from Uganda from our sources on the ground asserting that President Yoweri Museveni had said at a the NRM retreat that if the Anti-gay Bill was put in front of him, he would sign it. The Bill will impose life imprisonment for gays and lesbians who are found guilty of so called aggravated homosexuality, which could simply mean being caught havig same-sex relations more than once.
We are now receiving reports from Buzzfeed that this information has been confirmed as follow, although we at OBLOGDEE remain skeptical:
“Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has decided to sign a law imposing up to a lifetime jail sentence for homosexuality, announced government spokesman Ofwono Opondo via Twitter on Friday. NRM caucus spokeswoman Evelyn Anite confirmed Opondo’s announcement to BuzzFeed.”
As noted by Buzzfeed, Museveni made his announcement during a retreat with members of his party, the National Resistance Movement, which has primarily focused on the party’s leadership as it prepares for elections in 2016. They also noted that Museveni had been facing stiff pressure from his colleagues to accept the bill.
However what they did not note is that this may be mere posturing on the part of Museveni. The jury is still out until he signs his assent.
Museveni had previously noted that if it could be proved that homosexuality is genetic, then he would send the Bill back to Parliament for adjustments. However now while it seems he may be going back on this, he could have been pandering for more support from additional MP’s for his own future as leader of the party, pending next election. This is reasoning is quite probable given how popular the anti-gay Bill is amongst his party’s MPs and he did actually accomplish the result and succeeded in increasing his support at the NRM retreat.
If Museveni ignores the Bill after the expiration of a 30 day period since he received it, it will become law. If he sends it back to Parliament it could be revoted upon and pass with a two third majority vote which would then make it law without the President’s signature.
UPDATED 2 Hours later from Ugandan Press:
By Vision Reporter
President Yoweri Museveni has told NRM MPs he will assent the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law, Uganda’s government spokesman Ofwono Opondo has revealed. (Full story in SUNDAY VISION)
A press release from NRM Caucus Spokes person Anite Evelyn also confirmed the development.
In a twitter message, Ofwono said Museveni would give the nod to the bill “after 14 medical experts presented a report that homosexuality is not genetic but a social behaviour.”
A Ministerial Committee comprising of scientists from Ministry of Health and Makerere University was set up to study homosexuality and genetics in human beings and advise the President and the NRM Caucus on the subject of homosexuality.
Ofwono Opondo revealed new stand.
He added that “Ugandan traditionalists, religious leaders & politicians have been urging Museveni to sign the Bill. (Those) Supporting homosexuals take it easy Uganda is a sovereign country, you challenge the law in the courts.”
“The NRM caucus has welcomed the development as a measure to protect Ugandans from social deviants,” Opondo added on twitter.
The ten-day MPs’ retreat ends Saturday with the selection of three parliamentary commissioners.
The NRM caucus earlier in the week endorsed President Museveni as sole candidate for the NRM.