Former vice president of Uganda: The anti-gay law fuels discrimination, stigma and hampers the fight against HIV

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The former vice president of Uganda has launched a scathing attack on President Yoweri Museveni for signing the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law.

Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe is the UN’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.

She issued on Monday a firm statement against the decision saying it will only fuel stigma and discrimination against the LGBT community and that the law also “undermines the significant progress of the national AIDS response”.

Ms Wandira-Kazibwe said: “I am in full solidarity with the LGBT community and I will continue to defend their rights in Uganda and across Africa.

“Rest assured of my unwavering support and action for the realisation of the rights for every human being, which has been my struggle since childhood. I will not reverse my path.”

She added: “I will continue to engage with the Government of Uganda and civil society organisations on this important matter.”

The former vice president says she is working with Uganda’s Ministry of Health to ensure that the law is subjected to a regulatory impact assessment.

President Yoweri Museveni gave assent to the legislation last month.

Charities warn it will have “disastrous” effects on the country’s response to HIV.

The Act calls for repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison and makes it a criminal offence not to report someone for being gay.

The World Bank, along with Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands, have all halted aid to the Ugandan Government as a result of the decision.

Ms Wandira-Kazibwe served as Uganda’s vice president from 1994 to 2003.

She was the first woman in Africa to hold the position of vice president of a sovereign nation.