Ugandan Government through Minister for Foreign Affairs Henry Okello Oryem, has hit back at the World Bank over its move to half future funding programmes over the anti-homosexuality Bill.
In what he termed as “hypocrisy” Okello called on the United States government to respect Uganda’s democracy.
He said the laws were passed by the Ugandan Parliament, the people’s representative.
“Stop this hypocrisy,” said Okello.
“The law was passed by Uganda Parliament; these are representatives of the people. That’s democracy.”
Okello accused the Western entity of being quick to lecture poor countries about democracy and blackmailing them with funding and donations.
It happens a day after the World Bank cut off future funding for projects in Uganda, citing human rights violations from the recent enactment of the anti-homosexuality law.
“Our goal is to protect sexual and gender minorities from discrimination and exclusion in the projects we finance. These measures are currently under discussion with the authorities. No new public financing to Uganda will be presented to our Board of Executive Directors until the efficacy of the additional measures has been tested,” said World Bank in a statement.
The US is a key shareholder in the World Bank and has almost always produced its president.
In May, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed into law the Anti-Homosexuality Act, providing penalties as high as a death sentence for “aggravated homosexuality.”
To activate future funding programmes, World Bank has asked President Museveni to provide adequate policy to protect minorities, including homosexuals.
Countries Where Homosexuality is a Crime
The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) monitors the progress of laws relating to homosexuality around the world.
And besides Uganda, Nigeria is among a number of African states that have criminalised homosexuality.
In May 2019, the high court in Kenya upheld laws criminalising homosexual acts.
In February this year, Kenya’s Supreme Court ruled that it was wrong for authorities to ban the gay community from registering a rights organisation but it stressed that gay sex remains illegal.
ILGA says the death penalty is the legally prescribed punishment for same-sex sexual acts in Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and some northern states of Nigeria.
In five countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, Somalia, and the United Arab Emirates – there is no legal clarity and the death penalty could be applied.