World Bank only cares about gay rights, Bobi Wine says

Thursday August 24 2023

Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, speaks during a press conference. PHOTO | SUMY SADRUNI | AFP


Ugandan opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, has accused the World Bank of selectively championing gays rights and ignoring others. 

The global lender on August 8, 2023 halted new loans for Uganda’s development projects, following the country's enactment of Anti-homosexuality Act, 2023. 

The move will affect projects worth $1.8 billion (Ush6.7 trillion).

However, Kyagulanyi has criticised the move saying the same sanctions should be slapped on President Yoweri Museveni’s government because of other human rights violations.

Read: Anti-gay law: Uganda reacts to World Bank funding freeze

“While I was abroad, many of you received the news that the World Bank had suspended loans to Uganda. We welcomed that; however, I was unhappy that they are only holding back loans over the anti-gay law,” he said on Wednesday.


“While we welcome sanctions against Museveni, we call up the hypocrisy of the international community. We want them to know that our lives matter as well, that the lives of the hundreds of people who are being killed matter as well. They should not look at gay rights as the only rights in Uganda,” he added.

Museveni and other Ugandan leaders, such as the speaker of Parliament, have since stood their ground despite the global lending agency’s decision.

Museveni in a 26-page August 17 statement said it was a miscalculation for World Bank “to dare think that Ugandans can be intimidated by the threat of withdrawal of loans and aid that are, moreover, peripheral to our transformation efforts”.

Read: Museveni rejects World Bank coercion on anti-gay law

Kyagulanyi wondered what the Bank would do if Uganda repealed the law.

“Does that mean if Museveni repeals that law, you will continue to give him money when he massacres Ugandans?” he said.

He further said the World Bank should stop paying a deaf ear to the cries of people tortured in Uganda. 

"We urge the American government to change its policy towards Uganda and the Museveni regime. People were killed in the 2009 Kayunga riots, hundreds were killed by the regime in Kasese in 2016 and many others were killed during the November 2020 riots as well as during the 2021 general elections campaigns, but all these lives did not matter because the World Bank and IMF continued to shower Museveni’s regime with billions of dollars,” he said.