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Aid Cuts Is A Price Worth Paying For Moral Values – Ugandan Lawmaker
Author of Uganda’s anti-gay bill which criminalises homosexuality, David Bahati, has said that aid cuts by western donors are a price worth paying to protect the nation’s moral values.
Bhati who was speaking on Monday in Kampala said it was unfortunate that the World Bank would take such a decision creating an impression that accepting homosexuality was a condition for World Bank money when it was not.
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signed the anti-gay bill last Monday, citing a report by Ugandan scientists which said there is no proven genetic basis for homosexuality as his reason for backing the bill.
The law, which builds on a colonial-era anti-homosexuality law, will see those found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality” sentenced to 14 years in jail.
Bahati said the World Bank, Norway and Denmark have withheld or diverted aid totaling about 658 million dollars while the United States of America, the biggest western donor, said it was currently reviewing ties.
Bahati, who first sought the death penalty for some acts when he introduced the bill in 2009, said aid suspensions were tantamount to blackmail, but that he expected more to follow.
“The law is very much worth it because it will protect our values. I think a society that has no moral values is a contradiction to development,” he said.
He expressed optimism that Uganda would cope with the aid blocks, seeking loans from less interfering countries in order to resist social imperialism of traditional western donors.
Bahati said the blackmail would go on and it might get worse before it gets better but at the end of the day, the sovereignty of Uganda would triumph.
Russia, China and India have backed Uganda’s stance.