Saturday, 15 February 2014

Did Museveni Veto the Bill?

In light of yesterday's news that President Museveni is going to sign the Anti-Gay Bill, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel SidibĂ© says Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill has ‘serious human rights implications’.

“I strongly urge the Ugandan authorities to reject the bill and ensure the human rights and dignity of all people in Uganda,” said Michel SidibĂ©, Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)... 
The bill also has public health implications, UNAIDS, said citing studies which show that when gay people face discrimination including abuse, incarceration and prosecution, they are less likely to seek HIV testing, prevention and treatment services. 
In 2012, there were 1.5 million people living with HIV in Uganda and 140,000 new HIV infections, UNAIDS reported. 
Globally, gay men are around 13 times more likely to become infected with HIV than the general population, emphasizing the urgent need to ensure safe access to HIV prevention and treatment services for all people everywhere.

We've highlighted in the past that the Bahati Bill denies HIV/AIDS care to LGBTI people, and a supporting statement was issued by UHSPA in December.

Meanwhile, a very interesting article by Kapya Kaoma questions the earlier report that Museveni was planning to veto the bill.

The answer, apparently, is no:

Museveni did not say that he won’t sign the bill into law. Rather, he promised to take the issue to his party’s caucus, which met on January 24. At the meeting, the caucus wanted Museveni to sign the bill, but, according to the Daily Monitor, Museveni pushed back by demanding “scientific evidence” to establish whether or not gays are abnormal... 
Like others concerned about human rights for all people, I read Museveni’s letter with interest. But after reading it, I realized that Museveni is hedging, clearly playing to both sides. As such, people can interpret the letter according to their own views—as we are now clearly seeing.

Watch this space for further updates...

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