Uganda Accuses West Countries For LGBTQ Agenda Pressure Amidst Visa Restrictions

KAMPALA, (UG)-The government of Uganda has accused the West of trying to pressure Africa into accepting homosexuality after the United States slapped more Ugandan officials with visa restrictions for adopting the tough anti-gay law.

The enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023 triggered criticism from rights groups, the United Nations and Western powers.On Monday, Washington imposed visa bans on unnamed officials deemed responsible for undermining the democratic process in Uganda and abusing human rights, including those of the LGBTQ community.

The state minister for foreign affairs, Henry Okello Oryem, in an interview with the AFP news agency yesterday, criticised the US decision and accused the West of pushing an LGBTQ agenda on Africa, Uganda in specific, in a mistaken attempt to coerce the nation into accepting same sex relationships using aid and loans.

The US imposed a first round of visa restrictions on Ugandan officials in June, and last month announced it would remove the country from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade pact effective January 2024. Oryem said that Uganda can liberate herself without external help, adding that no amount of aid can change Uganda’s development programme.

The draconian anti-gay law adopted in May contains provisions making aggravated homosexuality a capital offence and imposes penalties for consensual same-sex relations of up to life in prison.

The Constitutional Court in Kampala is due to start hearing a case against the legislation on Monday next week.