Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has proposed that anybody who is accused of having sex with a person of the same gender be held in prison until they go to trial in a new sign that the president is bowing to pressure from those who want to further criminalize gay sex in the East African nation.
Government MPs from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) yesterday announced their support for the proposal which would have those accused of having consensual gay sex treated the same as rapists – though in comparison people accused of corruption will still be able to get bail.
The proposal by the president would deny bail to any person accused of a so-called ‘crime against nature.’
Uganda’s The Daily Monitor newspaper quoted Museveni as saying, ‘I do not know why the Judiciary is giving bail to every suspect.’
‘There is bail to everybody, including the core criminals. We shall do legislation as politicians about this law to determine the categories of suspects supposed to be granted bail.’
The proposal appears destine to become law with NRM caucus spokesperson Evelyn Anite telling the Monitor that, ‘the President had proposed that bail must be denied to those who rape and defile others and MPs amended it to include those that sodomize
According to Anite, ‘the proposal was overwhelmingly supported.’
Museveni had previously said that he would not pass into law the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which would see convicted gays and lesbians potentially jailed for life, unless it could be proven that homosexuality was a choice - and this initiative appears to be a concession to that bill’s supporters.
The move comes as the NRM is considering who it will choose as its presidential candidate for the next national election in 2016 and so far Museveni is running unopposed.