The US has cancelled the visa of Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament Anita Among after President Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality bill into law.
This has been confirmed by the mover of the bill and Bugiri municipality legislator Asuman Basalirwa saying “Anita Among is the first victim” of likely sanctions.
“The speaker’s current visa has been cancelled and this is confirmed in an email,” Basalirwa said.
“The US government has revoked your (Among) current visa on information that came available after your last issuance, as of May 12, 2023, you (Among) don’t possess a valid visa to the US although you are welcome to apply again,” he said addressing journalists at parliament.
Basalirwa further added that Among has been encouraged to forward her passport to the US Embassy through the Ministry of Finance for necessary modifications to her visa.
“I think they were looking for my visa for the US but they didn’t find it. So, the first victim is the speaker,” he added.
However fearless Among has noted that “Parliament shall always stand for and promote the interests of the people of Uganda.”
“I now encourage the duty bearers under the law to execute the mandate bestowed upon them in the Anti-Homosexuality Act. The people of Uganda have spoken, and it is your duty now to enforce the law in a fair, steadfast, and firm manner,” Among said on Monday morning.
The restrictive anti-gay bill comes with tough punishments and fines for those convicted of promoting, recruiting and practising homosexuality or lesbianism in Uganda. The law also provides for a life sentence in prison for an individual convicted of same sexual acts in the country.
Parliament modified the bill on May 2 after its initial March 21 draft sparked international condemnation for targeting people identifying as LGBQT.
The President has been under intense pressure from his Western donors who have categorically stated that Uganda risks losing funding if the anti-homosexuality bill is signed into law.
The bill was first introduced in parliament and passed in December 2013, signed into law in February 2014 but quashed by courts of law on grounds of quorum in August 2014 before it was this year re-introduced by Bugiri legislator Asuman Basalilwa and first passed on 22nd March 2023 but returned by the president early last month.