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Uganda tax hikes could lead to anti-gay riots

Uganda tax hikes could lead to anti-gay riots

LGBTIs fear they could be targeted in riots as Ugandans express their anger over tax rises caused by the country’s new anti-gay law.

The US government punished the Ugandan government for the Anti-Homosexuality Act by cutting some aid and redirecting some to non-governmental organizations.

President Barack Obama had been under pressure for months to act against Uganda for the draconian new law that punishes homosexuality with life in prison.

But Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has responded to the US cuts by unveiling a new budget with sharply rises taxes and eradicates sales tax exemptions on essentials like food and even water.

And the media is not helping. Several articles published today attacked the LGBTI community for existing at all, and not the legislation itself.

‘The backlash is going to be against the gay community. There will be plenty of victims,’ Edwin Sesange, Uganda gay rights activist, told Gay Star News.

‘So many people in Uganda rely on aid, from condoms to salt. People already hate gays, they’re just going to lash out at us with all that anger.’

‘I don’t personally agree with cutting aid to Uganda,’ he added. ‘It wasn’t right for the US to act in this way – it wasn’t the right moment.

‘After Ugandans hear the US is cutting money, the government is raising taxes, there will be riots. Against us.’

The Ugandan government has argued that in order to increase public spending in the coming year, it has to raise revenue through taxes. New taxes are also being proposed on fuel, sugar and mobile money transactions.

The Ugandan parliament still has to vote on the budget before it becomes law. The vote is expected in September.