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Uganda Lawmakers Draft Another Anti-Gay Law
by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Apr 29, 2014
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni (Source:AP Photo)
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for Uganda’s LGBT citizens, lawmakers from the landlocked east Africa country recently drafted another anti-gay law, Reuters reports.
Uganda’s new proposed law would ban non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from promoting gay rights. The measure comes after Uganda President Yoweri Museveni signed a highly controversial bill into law in February that punishes those who are caught having gay sex with life in jail.
The cabinet is currently studying the draft bill before it’s introduced to parliament. James Baba, junior internal affairs minister, told Reuters that if the measure is signed into law, it would prohibit NGOs from getting involved with Uganda’s politics.
“There are some NGOs who have come here to undermine us, to promote very bad behavior like homosexuality,” Baba told Reuters. “As a responsible government we need to check that. They (NGOs) will not be able to do that when we pass this law.”
The new law will also require charities to tell the government their annual budgets, their sources of income and will also have present accountability for any funds received from those sources at the end of the year, Reuters reports.
Baba said foreign NGOs would be banned from commenting or involving themselves in Ugandan politics.
“It is for Ugandans to say whether Museveni should rule or should not rule,” Baba told the news site. “As a foreign NGO, what stake do you have in our politics? Our nationals have every right to put their government to task and to question the performance of government, but outsiders should not have this privilege.”
Those against the draft law say it would encroach on Uganda citizen’s civil liberties, especially the LGBT community.
“What is happening is that rather than use brute force, Museveni’s politics is increasingly dependent on use of money to win elections,” Nicholas Opiyo, a human rights lawyer based in Kampala, said. “So in order for them to have a free hand in spending public resources to buy votes in the next election, what do you do? You begin to restrict NGOs.”