President Yoweri Museveni has voiced his criticism against the World Bank’s suspension of new funding to Uganda due to a stringent anti-LGBTQ law, asserting his intent to secure alternate credit sources. Museveni, who has held office since 1986, declared in a Thursday statement that Uganda seeks to minimise borrowing and will not yield to foreign institutions’ pressures. He expressed his disappointment that the World Bank and others would attempt to influence Uganda’s values, culture, and sovereignty with financial means, highlighting their underestimation of Africans.
Museveni suggested that if Uganda requires funds, it can explore alternative sources and anticipates increased revenues from oil production expected to commence by 2025. He expressed hope that the World Bank would reconsider its decision, which could necessitate revising the nation’s budget. Criticised globally, the anti-LGBTQ law, approved in May, enforces severe penalties, including capital punishment for “aggravated homosexuality” and lengthy imprisonment for “promoting” homosexuality.
The World Bank announced on Tuesday that the law contradicted its principles, prompting the suspension of new funding until measures preventing discrimination in its financed projects could be implemented. The World Bank maintains an existing $5.2 billion portfolio in Uganda, unaffected by this decision. The government plans to seek parliament’s approval for a revised budget for the fiscal year 2023-2024, reflecting the potential financial repercussions of the funding suspension. The United States previously imposed visa restrictions on Ugandan officials and initiated a review of aid to the country in response to the law.
Source: Al Jazeera