Ugandan president tests positive for COVID-19, says no going back on anti-gay law

Ugandan president tests positive for COVID-19, says no going back on anti-gay law

Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni has tested positive for COVID-19 after his address at the parliament where he re-affirmed that the country is not going back on its latest legislation against homosexuality. He said the signing of the bill is finished, no one will move Uganda back on it.

Diane Atwine, permanent secretary at the health ministry, said on Twitter that the Ugandan leader tested positive for COVID-19. This was after developing mild flu-like symptoms.

However he is in robust health and continues to perform his duties normally while adhering to standard operating procedures on COVID-19.

78 year old Museveni provided the first indication that he might have contracted COVID earlier on Wednesday after delivering a State of the Nation speech on the floor of the parliament, prompting him to get COVID tests.

During his speech at the parliament, Wednesday, President Museveni disregarded worldwide calls to repeal one of the strictest anti-gay laws in the world, which carries the threat of the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.”

He said “the signing of the bill is finished, no one will move us.”

President Museveni urged Ugandans to remain firm, pointing out that the issue of homosexuality is a serious one that concerns the human race,” his office said in the statement.

Although the law against homosexuality is condemned by the international community, the legislation has however enjoyed broad support in the conservative country with many of the citizens saying the law supports moral values and integrity of the Ugandans.

Uganda Law Against Homosexuality 

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has recently enacted a legislation that criminalizes same-sex conduct, going as far as imposing the death penalty for individuals found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality.”

This newly implemented law, known as the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023, directly violates various fundamental rights enshrined in Uganda’s constitution and disregards the commitments made by the government as a signatory to numerous international human rights agreements.

Previously, Uganda’s penal code already punished same-sex conduct with a life imprisonment sentence, although this offense was rarely prosecuted. However, the recent law introduces additional crimes, such as the vaguely defined “promotion of homosexuality,” and it even includes the death penalty for acts categorized as “aggravated homosexuality.” Furthermore, it raises the prison term for attempted same-sex conduct to 10 years.

Regrettably, this law perpetuates discrimination against individuals with disabilities, which contradicts Uganda’s Constitution. It deems the offense of homosexuality as aggravated if the “victim” has a disability, thereby denying people with disabilities the capacity to provide consent for sexual acts.

The law also poses severe consequences for those advocating for the rights to Same-sex relations, including representatives of human rights organizations or those who offer financial support to such organizations, with penalties of up to 20 years’ imprisonment for the “promotion of homosexuality.”

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