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Uganda's Museveni Lashes Out at World Bank's Loan Freeze Over Anti-LGBTQ Law

© AP Photo / Andrew HarnikThe World Bank building is seen
The World Bank building is seen - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 10.08.2023
The World Bank announced that it would cease lending to Uganda following the country's anti-LGBTQ law signed in late May, which sparked a wave of condemnation as "a violation of human rights."
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has condemned the World Bank's move to suspend funding for national projects in the wake of the country's Anti-Homosexuality Act, calling it an attempt to use money to force the country to give up its culture and sovereignty.
"It is unfortunate that the World Bank and other actors dare to want to coerce us into abandoning our faith, culture, principles and sovereignty, using money. They really under-estimate all Africans," Museveni said on X (formerly known as Twitter).
The president added that Uganda "does not need pressure from anybody to know how to solve problems in our society."
The East African nation will develop with or without loans, the leader noted.
"If there is an absolute need for borrowing, there are a number of non-Bretton Woods sources from where we can borrow," he added.
Earlier, Okello Oryem, Uganda's minister for foreign affairs, told media that the World Bank's decision is hypocritical.
According to the official, the adopted legislation conveys the will of the people and mirrors democracy in the East African Nation.
"Stop this hypocrisy," he said. "The law was passed by the Uganda Parliament; these are representatives of the people. That’s democracy."
Oryem added that the Washington-based lender's decision is two-faced since a number of other countries have similarly anti-homosexual laws.
The official cited the example of the United States, where "many states have passed laws that either oppose or restrict homosexual activities."
"So why pick on Uganda?" Oryem remarked.
The World Bank reasoned in a statement on Wednesday that the anti-homosexuality law "contradicts the organization's values."
Ugandan MP John Musila wears clothes with an anti-LGBTQ message as he enters the Parliament to vote on a new anti-gay bill, on March 21, 2023. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 03.06.2023
Sub-Saharan Africa
'A Popular Law': Author of Uganda's Anti-LGBTQ Law Explains It to Sputnik
Uganda's 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Bill was signed into law in late May. Asuman Basalirwa, who introduced the bill, claims it seeks to protect Ugandans' culture, as well as their religious and family values, "from acts that may promote sexual promiscuity in this country."
In response to the law, the US introduced travel restrictions on officials from that country in June, while President Joe Biden threatened aid cuts and other sanctions.
Authorities in the East African country described the threats as blackmail.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill grants the death penalty for certain offenses, and "homosexual propaganda" is punishable with 20 years in prison.