Julius Malema (Pic: EFF)
Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has slammed the passage of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which it described as “draconian”.
In a statement, the recently formed political party said that, as per its founding manifesto, it is “against the oppression of anyone based on their gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation, meaning that we are against patriarchy, sexism, and homophobia in all of its manifestations”.
It added that “We are also against tribalism and religious and cultural intolerance. We oppose any cultural or religious practices that promote the oppression of anyone, especially groups that have been historically oppressed by such practices.”
According to Cameron Sithole-Modisane, who is on the EFF National sub-committee for Gender and Sexuality, the bill “entrenches discrimination and hatred against lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and intersex people.
“In addition, passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill would give license to those committing hate crimes; violent attacks on people solely on the basis of their sexual orientation and ‘corrective rape’ of lesbians would be exacerbated,” he said.
Sithole-Modisane noted in the statement that the bill will also hamper access by LGBTI individuals, particularly men who have sex with men, to health care in a country grappling with HIV.
“Criminalisation of same-sex love is a relic from Western colonisation. Why are African countries clinging to these antiquated laws against same-sex love? Why do African law makers seek to further strengthen a discriminatory law in a democracy?” he asked.
The EFF urged African countries to uphold the human rights and dignity of LGBTI people. It also called on Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to reject the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in its entirety.
“African leaders must not legislate hate of one by another like it happened in South Africa during apartheid which Nelson Mandela fought strongly against,” the party added.
In November, controversial EFF head Julius Malema urged South Africans to “love gay people… it’s their choice”. He went on to say: “We love all the gay people in South Africa and the world.”
Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill will jail convicted gay people for life. It will also compel HIV testing in some circumstances and will imprison anyone found guilty of supporting LGBT people or their rights and anyone who enters into or arranges a same-sex marriage.