Ugandan Opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi, widely known as Bobi Wine, has stirred controversy by suggesting that President Museveni orchestrated the enactment of Uganda’s anti-gay law with political motives in a recent interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), . Wine, who is the leader of the National Unity Platform (NUP), claimed that some members of his party supported the legislation due to their association with President Museveni.
During the interview on November 29, held during his first visit to London in a decade, Bobi Wine expressed his belief that the anti-gay law was not brought in the interest of the people of Uganda but was intended to target the Opposition, including himself. However, he provided no evidence to substantiate his claims and did not name the lawmakers he accused of collaboration with President Museveni.
In response to Bobi Wine’s statements, the Justice Forum (JEEMA) party, whose leader Asuman Basalirwa sponsored the anti-gay legislation, criticized him for his accusations and urged him not to demonize fellow Opposition members. JEEMA Secretary General Mohamed Kateregga, in a letter addressed to Bobi Wine, expressed deep concern and disappointment over the allegations, calling for a retraction and a commitment to fostering respect and cooperation among leaders.
The controversy revolves around Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, enacted by the 529-member Parliament in May. Bobi Wine’s ambiguous stance during the BBC interview, where he avoided directly addressing his support or opposition to the law, has further fueled the debate. The law, initially proposing criminalization of homosexuality, was revised under pressure from President Museveni but retains the death penalty for aggravated homosexuality convictions.
Homosexuality remains a sensitive subject in Uganda, with societal disapproval and potential consequences such as travel bans and visa restrictions. Bobi Wine, who had faced a UK travel ban in the past over his views on homosexuality, is now at the center of a new controversy with implications for both domestic and international perceptions.