Museveni signs harsh Anti-Homosexuality Bill into Law

The Speaker of Parliament Rt Hon Anita Among has confirmed that President, Yoweri Museveni has assented to the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill, making it a Law.

The president executed his constitutional mandate as prescribed by Article 91 (3) (a) of the Constitution to sign the bill into law. Parliament passed the returned bill on Tuesday, 02 May 2023.

The law posses death penalty for aggravated same-sex acts, a 20-year sentence for “promoting” homosexuality and Life imprisonment for acts of homosexuality.

The Bill provides for a three year imprisonment for a child convicted of the act of homosexuality which is in line with section 94(1) (g) of the Children Act, Cap 120 among others

In an official tweet released on Monday, Among appreciates the President’s actions, in addition to thanking Parliament for remaining focused on the needs of Ugandans despite pressure from “bullies and external forces.”

“I thank His Excellency, the president, for his steadfast action in the interest of Uganda. With a lot of humility, I thank my colleagues the Members of Parliament for withstanding all the pressure from bullies and doomsday conspiracy theorists in the interest of our country. As the Parliament of Uganda, we have answered the cries of our people. We have legislated to protect the sanctity of family as per Article 31 of the Constitution of Uganda.”

Museveni signs harsh Anti-Homosexuality Bill into Law

Parliament passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 with amendments to five clauses following proposals by President Yoweri Museveni.

371 MPs voted for the amended bill. One MP from the ruling party, Fox Odoi-Oywelowo, voted against, saying it contravened the constitution. The presence of 170 MPs is required to vote on a bill.

The Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Chairperson, Hon. Robinah Rwakoojo said on May 02,2023 that the President’s concerns were previously expressed by the committee in its report to the House.

“The committee recommends that Clauses 2 and 3 be amended to create further clarity on the purpose and intention of the Bill, which is to criminalize sexual acts committed by persons of the same sex rather than punishing a person based on their perceived sexuality or physical appearance,” Rwakoojo said.

The committee also recommended that the two sub-clauses under Clause 9 of the Bill relating to owners of premises who house homosexuals.

On reporting acts of homosexuality under Clause 14 and 15, the President stated that the two clauses contradicted each other.

The President recommended for deletion of clause 14 or in the alternative, to redraft it to restrict it to children and other vulnerable members of society as required in Article 17(1)(c) of the Constitution.

The committee, however, said clause 14 is relevant because it imposes a duty on a person who knows or has a reasonable suspicion that a person, has committed or intends to commit the offence of homosexuality, to report the matter to police for appropriate action.

“The committee recommends that Clause 14 of the Bill stand part of the Bill albeit with amendment to Clause 9(3) to create criminal sanctions against a person who does not report acts of homosexuality that are committed against children and other vulnerable persons,” said Rwakoojo.

The House passed a proposal by Hon. Jonathan Odur (UPC, Erute County South) on the Clause to increase the imprisonment penalty from six months to five years.

The Bill was first passed 21 March 2023 but was returned by the President.  

Museveni signs harsh Anti-Homosexuality Bill into Law