By Our Reporter
The authorities in Uganda are calling for the criminalisation of LGBTQ organisations and their activities in the country.
A January report from the NGO Bureau, an official body which oversees the work of NGOs, calls for the amendment of the country’s laws to criminalise LGBTQ activities.
In the alternative it urges the enactment of a new law “that prohibits the promotion of LGBTQ activities in the country”.
It further says the government needs to provide more resources to the NGO Bureau so that it can “identify and weed out those that are involved in activities that are prejudicial to the interests of the people of Uganda”.
Gay relationships are illegal in Uganda, where they can be punished by up to life in prison for committing “unnatural offences”.
The report is a result of a year-long investigation into activities of NGOs involved in sexual minorities’ rights work in Uganda.
The bureau says it received concerns regarding various organisations, but did not state the source of the concerns.
In total 26 NGOs were investigated but the probe is yet to conclude its work on many of them.
It says that Sexual Minorities Uganda, one of the most prominent LGBTQ organisations in the country, was neither officially registered as an NGO nor as a business.
The NGO Bureau ordered the closure of the organisation in August 2022, but the organisation has since filed a case at the East African Court of Justice contesting its closure.
Registration applications of at least three other organisations to the bureau were rejected due to their involvement in LGBTQ human rights work.
In recent weeks, several government officials and leaders in the country have been speaking out against the “promotion of gay activities” in the country.
Last week, Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba, the head of the Anglican Church of Uganda, spoke against the recent Church of England’s decision to bless same-sex marriages.
Archbishop Kaziimba said that homosexuality was a sin and that the Anglican church in Uganda would not endorse it.
There have also been renewed calls in parliament for a new anti-gay bill to be drafted and tabled for debate.
Uganda received global attention when it passed an anti-homosexuality law in 2013. It later annulled it in 2014 when a court ruled that it had been passed without the required quorum in parliament.