KAMPALA. — Uganda shrugged off yesterday foreign aid cuts and international criticism of its tough new anti-gay law, saying it could do without Western aid.
“The West can keep their ‘aid’ to Uganda over homos, we shall still develop without it,” government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said in a message on Twitter.
On Monday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed a Bill into law which holds that “repeat homosexuals” should be jailed for life, outlaws the promotion of homosexuality and requires people to denounce gays.
The signing of the law came despite fierce criticism from Western nations and key donors, including US President Barack Obama, who has warned that ties between Kampala and Washington would be damaged.
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday compared the “flat-out morally wrong” and “atrocious” law to anti-Semitic legislation in Nazi Germany or apartheid in South Africa.
In a speech after signing the law, President Museveni warned Western nations not to meddle in the east African nation’s affairs — and that he was not afraid of aid being cut.
Some donors were quick to punish Kampala by freezing or redirecting aid money, while Sweden’s Finance Minister Anders Borg, who visited the country on Tuesday, said the law “presents an economic risk for Uganda”.
The Netherlands froze a seven-million-euro subsidy to Uganda’s legal system, while Denmark and Norway said they would redirect around six million euros each towards private sector initiatives, aid agencies and rights organisations.
But Opondo said Uganda’s government was not worried.
“Western ‘aid’ to Africa is lucrative and (a) profitable trade, they cannot cut off completely,” Opondo said.
“Slave trade, slavery, colonialism, imperialism, and exploitation, Africa must stand up to Western domination.”
The passing of the bill was largely a popular move in Uganda, where President Museveni — in power for 28 years — faces re-election in 2016. — AFP.