Uganda President: Railways before gays

2011-12-16 19:00

Kampala - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Friday urged international donors not to let concerns for gay rights affect development aid, saying homosexuals also needed roads, power and trains.

"Before anyone gives me a lecture about homosexuals and their rights, first talk about railways," Museveni told delegates at the end of a regional meeting in Kampala attended by five other African presidents.

"Homosexuals also need electricity, homosexuals also need roads, homosexuals also need railways," Museveni said to applause.

Earlier this month, US President Barack Obama ordered all government agencies, including those handing out aid, to put gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights at the centre of US foreign policy.

Homosexuality is outlawed in many African countries and discrimination against gays and lesbians is rife on the continent, with South Africa being the only country that recognises gay rights and same-sex marriage.

In Uganda, homosexuality is punishable by up to life in prison.

A controversial bill that calls for the death penalty for certain homosexual acts was recently re-introduced in the Ugandan parliament after lawmakers failed to debate it during the last session of the legislative body.

It brings in the death penalty for anyone caught engaging in homosexual acts for the second time as well as for gay sex where one partner is a minor or has HIV.

  • Clifton - 2011-12-16 19:10

    Museveni has his hand out like a beggar while lecturing his benefactors on what their priorities should be. If railroads are his priority, no one is stopping him from building them.

  • Ricky - 2011-12-16 19:29

    Beggars can't be choosers.

      Ricky - 2011-12-16 19:44

      Actually, they can - seeing as they tend to have the most disposable income out of all the demographics.

  • robert.ferreiro - 2011-12-16 19:32

    CHINA OR INDIA WILL GIVE..and he knows is a game to him both are looking to buy influence in Africa...

  • Gail - 2011-12-17 13:28

    Mr Museveni, I'm sorry to tell you this but if you need to build railways for the majority of your people and have your begging bowl held out to the First world, they have the power and disingenuousness won't cut it with the first world. If you feel so strongl about having railways why not finance them yourself by taxing your own people. Railways are not very green either so maybe you need to rethink the whole idea of transport and go in for an alternative form like wheels on carriages pulled by those who are unemployed.

  • Samuel - 2012-01-23 12:42

    Shame, yet another third world hole asking for more money. The west should just say NO MORE!!

  • mphorista - 2012-01-23 18:19

    Well well Obama why am i not surprised? as of the Ghanaian President hai baba no comment socedile indaba yakho shem!!

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