The world’s highest banking body has denied to serve the Republic of Uganda with loan packages, due to Kampala’s imposition and implementation of the newly passed LGBTQI law, which received an outright condemnation from the right-wing western nations and international institutions.
The Ugandan anti-LGBTQ law stipulates death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” thus, having gay sex with someone who is HIV positive, and 20-year incarceration for “promoting” homosexuality materials.
The bill however, received widespread support from the citizens of Uganda.
As a show of support to the LGBTQI communities, the bank announced that, it has ceased providing funds to undertake developmental projects. It also demanded Kampala to review the law and make it a priority that, sexual and gender minorities are shielded from bias and marginalization in its policies.
“Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act fundamentally contradicts the World Bank Group’s values. We believe our vision to eradicate poverty on a livable planet can only succeed if it includes everyone irrespective of race, gender, or sexuality. This law undermines those efforts inclusion and non-discrimination sit at the heart of our work around the world.”World Bank.
Moreover, the World Bank disclosed that, it had taken notice of its complaint redress act, and has reviewed to strengthen to address similar unforeseeable issues.
The bank also stated that, it has improved its third-party surveillance process, “allowing us to take corrective action as necessary.”
The Bank in May admonished the Kampala administration to reconsider addressing the issues raised by human right activists. It added that, the law is in contradiction to the bank’s ideals and that, it was “highly concerned” about the implementation of the law.
As he assumed the position of the new Director of World Bank, Ajay Banga was faced with pressure from about 170 human right groups, urging him to take “specific, concrete, and timely actions” such as blocking the funding for future projects.
In spite of its borrowing suspension, the World Bank emphasized in a press release that, it would still be dedicated to helping Uganda, most especially the marginalized minorities.
“The World Bank Group has a longstanding and productive relationship with Uganda, and we remain committed to helping all Ugandans without exception escape poverty, access vital services, and improve their lives.”World Bank.
Additionally, Yoweri Museveni has long before the enactment of the new ant-LGBTQI law, termed the act a psychological disorder, which needs medical attention.
Museveni further called a bluff to international condemnations on the legislation, and defended the law as a necessary tool to prevent the LGBTQI community from attempting to “recruit” individuals.
US Sanctions Ugandan Officials
On the other hand, the United States imposed travel sanctions on some Ugandan members of parliament and the speaker of the Ugandan parliament, as the bill was assented into law by the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni.
According to a brief statement issued on June 16, the US Department of State spokesman, Matthew Miller opined that, the sanctions were imposed as a measure to combat graft and infringements of human rights, “including those of LGBTQI+ persons.”
Miller further revealed that, the Department of State has “also updated its travel guidance to US citizens to highlight the risk that LGBTQI+ persons, or those perceived to be LGBTQI+, could be prosecuted and subjected to life imprisonment or the death penalty based on provisions in the law”.
“The United States strongly supports the Ugandan people and remains committed to advancing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Uganda and globally.”Matthew Miller, Spokesman, US State Department.
Furthermore, US President Joe Biden voiced his disgust over the bill, and labelled the law as “a tragic violation of universal human rights,” as he vowed to stop funding Ugandan projects.