The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa has asked Ugandans to stop panicking over the decision by the World Bank to discontinue funding projects in Uganda after the passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Act earlier this year, saying Uganda knew such threats would arise after passing the controversial law and the latest development shouldn’t come as a surprise.
“I don’t know why you are panicking as if the country is going to shut down, we planned when we were making that decision, we knew it would have repercussions, and we are prepared and strong about the decision we made as a house. The moment we show any signs of weakness and panic, it means we don’t know what we were doing, we knew threats would come, please be calm” Tayebwa says.
These remarks were made in response in response to a concern raised by Paul Omara who implored Tayebwa to ask the Ministry of Finance for updates of what impact this would have on the 2023/2024 national budget. Tayebwa however declined saying that such a move would show that Uganda is panicking.
The Minister of State for Finance (General Duties) Henry Musasizi in response disclosed that although the Ministry of Finance had programmed to have a meeting with the Finance Committee, Budget Committee and National Economy Committee, the meeting had nothing to do with discussions on the developments from the World Bank and there are no plans to change the agenda of the meeting.
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This comes at a time, when Minister Musasizi last week revealed Government’s plans to revise the UGX52.7Trn national budget, after the World Bank halted financing of any new projects in Uganda due to the passing of the anti-homosexuality act a move that could affect the salary of public servants.
In May 2023, President Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 making homosexuality illegal in Uganda, introducing new offenses related to homosexuality and prescribing new penalties including the death penalty. The international community has since been up in arms over the legislation the latest being the International Development Association (IDA)-World Bank which last week announced that it has terminated any further funding to projects in Uganda arguing that the controversial law contradicts the Bank’s values, stating that the World bank’s vision to eradicate poverty on a livable planet can only succeed if it includes everyone irrespective of race, gender, or sexuality something the bank says is undermined by the Anti Homsexuality Act 2023.