The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, is due to sign the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill imminently, as journalists and politicians begin gathering for the event at State House, his official residence.
Uganda’s Daily Monitor is reporting that the bill’s chief sponsor, MP David Bahati is present at State House.
President Museveni was due to sign the bill in front of reporters at 11am (8am GMT). However, he appears to have missed that self-imposed deadline.
“The president is signing the anti-homosexuality bill today [Monday] at 11:00 [0800 GMT],” government spokesman Ofwono Opondo told Reuters news agency.
“He wants to sign it with the full witness of the international media to demonstrate Uganda’s independence in the face of Western pressure and provocation.”
In December last year, Uganda’s Parliament passed legislation to toughen the punishment for same-sex sexual activity, including life imprisonment for ‘repeat offenders’.
President Yoweri Museveni said he would only sign the bill into law if he had proof that gay people are ‘made’ and ‘not born’ into their sexuality.
However, President Museveni signalled that he was ready to sign the draconian bill earlier this month.
US President Barack Obama warned him against doing so.
He said it would “complicate our valued relationship” and will mark a “step backward” for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on the country’s commitment to protect the human rights of its people.”
President Museveni’s renewed determination to sign the bill is an apparent U-turn from last week’s pledge to hold off, pending advice from the US on the ‘science’ of homosexuality.
Over the weekend in South Africa, former archbishop Desmond Tutu criticised President Museveni for supporting the bill, describing it as “evil”.
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