President Museveni has this afternoon signed the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill at State House, Entebbe.
The president was in combative mood in a speech after the signing and while answering questions from journalists. He suggested that the law was made necessary by arrogant western groups promoting a behaviour that threatens Ugandans’ “way of life”.
The signing, which was delayed by more than three hours, has been condemned internationally, but was hugely anticipated by many Ugandans.
The president, who first launched Galaxy International School at Lubowa, Entebbe road, signed the law at around 1:50pm East African time. Before signing, the president identified three categories of gay people – recruiters, exhibitionists and mercenaries.
The president suggested he could not to understand how men could fail to be attracted to Uganda’s beautiful women and, instead, get attracted to fellow men.
The president also paraded the mostly Ugandan scientists who concluded that homosexuality wasn’t generic. The signing is expected to attract more attention and reaction from human rights defenders and the Western world, who have consistently been against the president’s assent since the bill was passed by Parliament in December 2013.
Key personalities such as Bishop of York John Ssentamu and South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu criticised Uganda for passing the law.
Museveni says Uganda wants work with the West but “they cannot force us to do something which is fundamentally wrong”.
The bill will formally become law when it gets published in the Uganda Gazette. That, however, remains a formality. For Uganda’s largely anti-gay population, the most important part was the president’s signature.
MP David Bahati, the brains behind the bill, has been passionate about it, saying it is mean to protect African morality and children.
Immediately after the signing, one Massy-Moses Kasule has suggested that “the day becomes a public holiday”.
On his Twitter account, senior journalist Bernard Tabaire suggests that blood “is on the hands of Ugandan scientists who signed off on anti-gay bill”.
Tabaire adds that Museveni “has his votes for 2016 after signing anti-gay bill into law”.
Dr Frank Mugisha posted on Twitter account: “I am officially illegal - President Museveni signs law to send me to Jail”.
E Otim tweeted that the signing had “just handed another opportunity to idle and jobless youth to, not only undress ladies but also lynch suspected gay people.