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Uganda Muslims have welcomed the decision of President Yoweri Museveni to back an anti-gay bill that imposes life sentences for some homosexual acts, risking ties between western donors and the east African country.
“It takes a courageous leader to defy all the western powers who have gone as far a threatening to cut off aid to Uganda incase the president signs the anti-gay bill,” said Hajji Nsereko Mutumba, the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) Public Relations Officer, in statement cited by Chimp reports on Wednesday, February 19.
Defying aid donors’ threats who grant Uganda about $2 billion every year, President Museveni has signed the controversial anti-homosexuality bill that will punish gay sex with sentences up to life imprisonment.
“I would like to commend President Museveni for his decision to sign the anti-gay bill,” Mutumba said.
“Once again, he has proved that he is a leader who has his country and his people at heart.
“Since the passing of the bill by the parliament of Uganda, the President has been under a lot of pressure from the promoters of the Homosexuality Act around the world but despite the numerous threats he received, he put morality first,” Mutumba added.
Few days ago, US President Barack Obama threatened that the anti-gay could jeopardize relations with Uganda, warning that it would be a “step backward for all Ugandans.”
The key western alley has further warned to review ties with the African nation that include granting it more than $400 million as aid annually.
Though praised by the Muslim community, the decision has sent outcry among rights activists who deemed it as a setback to human rights in the African country.
“There is real urgency now that [Yoweri] Museveni has stated his intention to sign the bill,” Daniel Bekele, the Africa director for Human Right Watch, told Al-Jazeera on Thursday, February 20.
“The US should temporarily recall the ambassador to conduct strategic consultations on the US/Uganda relationship, while making clear the range of concerns for yet another clawback to human rights in Uganda,” Bekele added.