President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has criticised the World Bank for its decision to halt loans as a means to “coerce” his government to reconsider the anti-LGBTQ bill into law.
Earlier this week, the World Bank said it would suspend new loans to the East African country.
The Bretton Woods institution had said Uganda’s legislation was considered as the world’s harshest laws targeting LGBTQ communities.
The US-based global lender stated that Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act “fundamentally contradicts” the institution’s values.
But Museveni, who signed the measures into law in May, said “Ugandans will develop with or without loans”.
“It is therefore unfortunate that the World Bank and other actors dare to want to coerce us into abandoning our faith, culture, principles and sovereignty, using money.”
“We do not need pressure from anybody to know how to solve problems in our society.”
Museveni nevertheless said Uganda was continuing discussions with the World Bank “so that they and we avoid this diversion if possible”.
Meanwhile, the United Nations, foreign governments including the United States, and global rights groups have condemned the new law, which contains provisions making “aggravated homosexuality” a capital offence and imposes penalties for consensual same-sex relations of up to life in prison.