President Museveni has finally assented to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 to make it law.
The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among revealed the development on Monday.
“His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Uganda, General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, has executed his constitutional mandate as prescribed by Article 91 (3) (a) of the Constitution. He has assented to the Anti-Homosexuality Act,” Among said in a tweet.
“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. We have stood strong to defend our culture and aspirations of our people as per objectives 19 & 24 of national objectives and directive principles of state policy.”
Having been passed by parliament, President Museveni returned the Anti-Homosexuality bill back to parliament for improvement.
This followed advice by the Attorney General to President Museveni asking him not to assent to the bill in its current form.
The Attorney General, who is the chief legal advisor for government said the new law provides for mandatory death sentence for a person convicted of aggravated homosexuality which he said is in contravention with articles 21, 22(1), 28, 44(a) and 44(c) of the Constitution.
He said the Constitutional Court t has already itself on laws concerning mandatory death sentence which he said is inconsistent with the constitution.
According to the Attorney General, the new law risks violating the principle of separation of powers when it prescribes mandatory death sentence as it doesn’t not give the judiciary discretion to determine an appropriate sentence.
He cited several other provisions in the new law that he said need to be revised by parliament before it is assented to by the president or else it risks being challenged in courts of law on grounds of being unconstitutional.
Consequently after making amendments, parliament passed the Anti gay bill for the second time.
The Speaker of Parliament has hailed the president for finally assenting to the bill that she said will protect the Ugandan cultures.
“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. By their action, we have lived by our motto, for God and our country,” Among said.
“We shall always stand for and promote the interest of the people of Uganda. I now encourage the duty bearers under the law to execute the mandate bestowed upon them in the Anti-Homosexuality Act. The people of Uganda have spoken, and it is your duty to now enforce the law in a fair, steadfast, and firm manner.”
The development comes on the backdrop of fears expressed by members of the public, including Members of Parliament over the ability by the president to assent to the law.
Many said by assenting to the law, Uganda risked sanctions from the west.
However, speaking to Daily Monitor recently, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem said whereas government recognises the threat of sanctions, it wont be backing down.