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Former VP criticizes gov’t on anti-homosexuality act

By Nikko Mugume

“I am in full solidarity with the LGBT community and I will continue to defend their rights in Uganda and across Africa. Rest assured of my unwavering support and action for the realization of the rights for every human being, which has been my struggle since childhood. I will not reverse my path.

I will continue to engage with the Government of Uganda and civil society organizations on this important matter” – Speciosa Kazibwe

Former Vice President Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe has issued a firm statement taking against President Yoweri Museveni’s recent signing of the controversial Anti-Homosexuality law.

The new law is said to be popular locally but is regarded by many foreign states as an act of violation of human rights.

Kazibwe, who has been the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa since August 2013, says in a statement issued on March 10 that the new anti-homosexuality act signed by President Museveni “only serves to fuel stigma and discrimination against the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community and undermines the significant progress of the national AIDS response”.

She describes it as part of a “dangerous resurgence” of discrimination evident in some African countries and says she had highlighted this point to President Museveni before the Bill was signed into law.

UNAID’s position has been that new law is a violation of human rights and Kazibwe says the AIDS response and human rights have been her top priority since she was appointed.

Kazibwe says the Bill was signed despite her prior expression of caution to members of parliament as well stating that the act would negatively affect Uganda’s international reputation, as well as support from donors.

Kazibwe says she is working with the Ministry of Health to ensure that the Act is subjected to a regulatory impact assessment and that she intends to stand in full support of the Secretary General’s leadership in urging the Government of Uganda to revise the Anti-Homosexuality Act at its earliest opportunity.

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