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In what may be seen as a dramatic turnaround, President Museveni says he is ready to assent to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, passed by Uganda’s Parliament last December.

A State House statement released on Sunday said the president was convinced there was no scientific evidence that homosexuality was genetic or natural.

"There is no scientific proof yet that people are homosexuals by genetics,” the statement quoted Mr Museveni as saying.

“It is on the strength of that I am going to sign the bill. I know we are going to have a big battle with the outside groups about this, but I will tell them what our scientists have to say."

Museveni was on Saturday evening speaking at the closure of the 3rd NRM caucus retreat at the National Leadership Institute in Kyankwanzi. He said he had not rushed to assent to the bill because he had to take all the precautions as he was directly answerable for whatever he does as a leader.

The president thanked participants at the retreat for their deliberations also announced that legislation on not granting of bail to all those who commit heinous crimes like murder, rape defilement and corruption will soon be tabled. He also said he would push for the control of fund-raising activities as well as that of money lenders describing the two as the centres of corruption.

Mr Museveni will have left Kyankwanzi a very satisfied man.  The attendance at the ruling party MPs’ caucus was particularly impressive, with just over 30 MPs skipping the event for various reasons.

Besides, the president’s supporters in what has been becoming an increasingly restless ruling party pulled off a political coup. They passed a resolution that will isolate any party member dreaming of challenging Museveni for position of the party’s flag bearer in the presidential elections in two year’s time. That will open the way for Museveni to rule the country for 35 years.

Museveni’s prime minister, Amama Mbabazi, was the obvious target of the Kyankwanzi resolution. Despite being loyal to the president over the years, Mbabazi was understood to be harbouring his own presidential ambitions, perhaps in the event that the ageing president retires soon.

But the president has recently reiterated that despite knocking on 70, he was still very mentally agile, and was “still around”.

Surprising move

Mr Museveni’s latest position on homosexuality will surprise many. He has previously complained bitterly after Parliament passed the bill. On Friday, The Observer published an eight-page angry letter Museveni wrote to Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and MPs after they passed the anti-gay bill, which he had since refused to sign.

In the letter, Museveni betrayed his conviction that homosexuality is a form of genetic disability for which people need help rather than jail. Much earlier, he had warned MPs against antagonising the international gay lobby, pointing out that its backers could gather as many as 300,000 people.

How many of you here, the president teased, can command a rally of 300,000 people?


After refusing to assent to the bill, the president asked Ugandan scientists to advise him on whether homosexuality was a natural or an acquired tendency.  In their report, the scientists declared homosexuality all but acquired deviant behaviour. This position flies in the face of mainstream Western scientific research, of which the Ugandan scientists must be aware.

Still, for a president not known for basing his decisions on scientific as opposed to political considerations, it is not clear why his position has suddenly changed. His decision to believe Ugandan scientists as opposed to western scientists who regard homosexuality as natural is curious.

The Observer Editor Richard M Kavuma believes the president may have been guided by political calculations. Because he was keen to win over MPs on key issues such as denying suspects bail on certain offences, Kavuma said, the president may have decided to sign the popular bill as a concession.

“But it is also true that some of the president’s people may challenge the legislation in court and given Uganda’s largely progressive Constitution, they may get the bill declared unconstitutional,” Kavuma said.

“That way the president comes out looking good to his anti-gay electorate, while the judges will take the flak from Uganda’s generally Christian conservative population.”

Kavuma added: “Because the law is likely to fail anyway, the president may have found the political cost of signing the bill to be much lower than that of maintaining his locally ‘anti-people’ stance.  On the contrary, he will be praised across churches, shrines and mosques if he signs the bill.”


Comments

 
+20 #1 Abdul 2014-02-16 15:30
No disrespect but how sad is it that a ruler who does not have the courage to tmake his own decisions but hides behind scientists and throws all responsibility upon them...

Furthermore it is very obvious that these scentists' findings are in blatant contradiction with the findings of the wordwide scientific community.

This is manipulation of science for political reasons! Truely, this is not responsible leadership, this is howling with the hyenas. Poor Uganda. Truely, this is not responsible leadership, this is howling with the hyenas. Poor Uganda.
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+11 #2 Long Walk to Freedom 2014-02-16 15:31
“The president thanked participants at the retreat for their deliberations also announced that legislation on not granting of bail to all those who commit heinous crimes like murder, rape defilement and corruption will soon be tabled.”

Doesn’t he realize that he would be a prime candidate for such laws?
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+14 #3 wodgot 2014-02-16 16:11
What the hell is he the saying and who tells him that we need scientific proof to choose how we should live our lives? If everything now requires scientific proof, can the president give us one scientific proof as to why he's a dictator?
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+5 #4 ruben 2014-02-16 16:28
Interesting @Abdul do you think Europeans and Americans leaders will also hide behind private members bill respond to Uganda ?
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+7 #5 Juma Kato 2014-02-16 16:36
"Mr Museveni’s latest position on homosexuality will surprise many" Observer

Not me! That is how Museveni operates. No one can say that he will not change his position one more time.
I feel sorry for fellows like one @4ABetterUganda who had begun getting soft because M7 had fooled the lot into believing that he can be a compassionate dictator.

Having said that,homosexual activists should blame themselves for thier incapacity to read the situation properly. They arrogantly ignored the feelings and opinions of the majority of Ugandans and opted for a short-cut to manipulate and/or blackmail Muveseni.
I think that even the Church Of England has found out that that kind of arrogancy does not work anymore in Africa. That is why they have also changed their position on gay marriege and homosexual Bishops.
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+8 #6 Juma Kato 2014-02-16 16:48
Abdul,
have you just found out that Museveni is not a responsible leader ?

You should ask why the Americans sent a powerful delegataion to Museveni`s State House to manimpualte him into agreeing that their findings on homosexuality are final.

No, I wouldn`t say "poor Ugandans";95% Ugandans do not hate this "bad law". unfortunately. I would say: "poor Western hypocrites", they are the ones who need to show some respect to Uganda.
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+6 #7 wodgot 2014-02-16 16:48
Mr. President, you are about to make the biggest mistake in your political career. Making decision based on mere perception that Homosexuality is bad ,is not a scientific evidence. Show us the scientific evidence that Homosexuality is not an interplay of natural body organs. Try to avoid the temptation of using perception as scientific proof.
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+4 #8 Okello jones 2014-02-16 16:50
Uganda is already filled with angry, frustrated, hungry people and it takes very little to incite mob violence . This law gives people justification to attack their neighbors based on "suspicion" rather than proof. Why can't we all just mind our business. who cares if someone else is gay? Where in the bible did Jesus say that we should cast stones at a gay person.I don't even understand the basis of this anti-gay law. It's probably there to distract people. So let us blame, attack and scapegoat the gays instead of holding our politicians responsible for the real problems facing Uganda.And FYI all this anti gay propaganda is just for guible ugandans.You will turn your attention to issues that do not affect your country in ANY way. Your all obsessed with gays instead of working at rioting against corupt leaders who are running this country into the ground. Focusing on poverty, education, health & infastructure.Instead you guys want to chase down gays and beat them.
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-1 #9 Betty Long Cap 2014-02-16 17:35
Your president is first and foremost a politician; he is not a moralist or a constitutional expert.

The world watches to see what happens when the ball is in the court system's court. Mandatory life-sentence is madness.
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+7 #10 Remase 2014-02-16 17:44
Abdul, it looks like the majority of Ugandan support the anti-gay bill, and for the first time in M7's history, he has listened to the views of the majority.

Abdul, correct me if am wrong, but even in the US The birth certificate has two genders; male and female and all the rest rooms all over the world have only two genders, isn't it? At birth one is either a boy or girl and when one goes to the rest room it has to be a female or male, isn't it?

Abdul, I understand you changed to whatever, how would you like to be addressed now, he or she? It's ok, it's not the end of the world, you can go to another country that offers you your rights, Ugandans don't believe in gays.
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0 #11 Baligeya J M 2014-02-16 17:44
Good move by the current 4th longest longest president on the African continent
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+2 #12 bestie 2014-02-16 17:55
Bravo! Long live kaguta long live our president.
Now all those abnormalities can kiss the pearl of Africa goodbye.
Hahahaha..........
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0 #13 Betty Long Cap 2014-02-16 18:44
Mendelian genetics is illustrated by drawing a Punnett square with the male (XY) at the top horizontal plane and the female (XX) at the left on a vertical plane. Each parent contributes half the chromosomes at fertilization.

Using science to explain social behavior always risks error e.g. Social Darwinism.
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+4 #14 Juma Kato 2014-02-16 18:57
Wodgot says :"Mr. President, you are about to make the biggest mistake in your political career"

It is these kinds of statements that make most Uganda hate the pro-homosexual community.

Museveni has ordered his army to shoot demonstrators. He has "pardoned" killers for his own political reasons. He has looked away as some of his supporters steal funds that are supposed to buy medicines for poor Ugandans.

He has invaded neighbouring countries and allowed some members of his family and army to plunder with impunity ... but he makes the "biggest mistake " of his political carrier because he is refusing to agree with what Americans and Europeans say over SEX ?????!!!!!!

I was one of these people who thought that this anti-gay bill was terrible. Now I begin to wonder why Museveni should not sign it.
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+4 #15 Akot 2014-02-16 19:51
The rest of world that wants to spread-impose their democracy around should know that no society in any country can accept cultures imposed from outside!

Tribes in Uganda don't impose their traditions on others, yet they live together!
Developed world does not accept cultures from abroad - they are fighting ploygamy brought from all over the world in their society which leads those involved in this practice to live in lies while benefiting from social services - these ploygamous familes don't carry family names so each wife has social housing-benefits while the males live like bees going from one to the other fertilising their women!...
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0 #16 Akot 2014-02-16 19:53
...Each country is made up of different tribes- societies-communities, but all must-should, as in dev.world, have a say in how they are governed & this can't be imported-imosed on them otherwise, Ugandans would have 2 wars to fight;

- dictatorship that has robed them of all rights to decide on even a gathering of 3,

- Survival for the majority who don't have acces to good housing-water-electricity-health-education-live through basic primitive agricultural ways! All these basic means of survival that dev.world offer their population doesn't exist in Uganda!...
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+3 #17 Akot 2014-02-16 19:54
...Uganda has been a military totalitarian state
since 1986 & there is no way for change since the dictator has destroyed-confused all opposition, divided the country in tribal groupings & tribal leaders hold on to their post in order to benefit from the dictator's generosity for survival!

How can any decent democracy-human rights defenders impose any of what they call their freedom of living on a people with no say in their own country? Who is the law for?
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+1 #18 Akot 2014-02-16 20:14
Just like USA-EU that have law makers elected by their people to represent them, Ugandans have elected law makers too!

The only difference is that Uganda has in place since 1986 an absolute military dictatorship that has allowed no room for constructive opposition & memebrs of parliament have no means to function as representatives of their electorates!

Therefore, no decent democracy should even think of dealing with, leave alone imposing-advising laws that they know very well do not have the support of the people of Uganda & do not represent their society composed of different tribes & cultures!

World democracies must redifine the meaning of "freedom of expression-living" if they want to be credible & export their democracy abroad!

Today, the world 'democracy' seems to implay 'oppression of majority in favour of minority rights that have no justification if we want a decent-respectful societies to raise children in without fear!
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-1 #19 Betty Long Cap 2014-02-16 20:31
Quoting Juma Kato:
Wodgot says :"Mr. President, you are about to make the biggest mistake in your political career"


On that comment, Wodgot is right. The anti-homosexuality bill will bring down the dictatorship.

Higher than civil, criminal, constitutional law is that moral law. Morally, the Muslim and Christian are in agreement: sodomy is an abomination to God. For that reason, this bleeding heart liberal is unable to join pro-homosexual community in support of what they define as human rights.

Whichever direction Museveni turns on this issue of homosexuality will ultimately result in the end of his administration. No ruler can do hand to hand combat with God and expect to win.

Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89
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+1 #20 Akot 2014-02-16 20:31
I have always been amused-puzzled- by the way W.democracies impose all immoralities-twist nature & foreight cultures to reflect their!

Yet, they don't impose on us the kind of leadership-democracy-governance that give rights to - education & health for all-housing with running water & electricity as right-public transport...as it's in their countries!

In developed countries, those who walked-walk away from natural living ways in want to adopt children-scientifically procreate babies-pay women to be fertilised with their sperms-women pay others to bear for them babies.. in order to enjoy social benefits enjoyed by families with man & women with children!

Yet even these developed countries have side lined their tax payers who pay for all with no right to contest the use of their money!
Who lives freely in dev.countries?
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