By: Ismael Kasooha
The Holy Father, Pope Francis has met Uganda’s Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja at the Vatican and asked the government to review the Anti-Homosexuality law.
“The Pope said that they support the Anti-homosexuality law that was passed in Uganda but asked the government to review the clause of the death sentence,” said Nabbanja.
Aggravated homosexuality (including if victim is a child, the offender is a parent, guardian or relative of the person, the victim contracts a terminal illness, the offender is a serial offender, a person in authority over the victim, the victim is a person with disability or suffers disability as a result of the sexual act) is liable to death on conviction.
The encounter lasted about 25 minutes and saw the Pope and the Prime Minister discuss various issues, according to Matteo Bruni, the Director of the Holy See Press Office.
The issues discussed included the improvement of the Namugongo Martyrs Shrine that has become a world worshiping center.
Nabbanja said that she asked the Pope to support Uganda in its effort to host Refugees.
Pope Francis lauded the Government of Uganda for hosting over 1.5 million people who have run from their countries for various reasons.
The Pope expressed his admiration for the welcome extended to migrants and refugees from various countries.
The Pontiff met Nabbanja in a closed door meeting which was not open to the media apart from the internal team at the Vatican.
After the meeting the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja who looked joyful and humble said that the Pope was happy for Uganda’s gesture to host human kind.
“Among the topics covered during the conversation, the Pope was touched by the welcome generously extended by Ugandan institutions to migrants and refugees, not only from the African region, but as far as Central Asian countries,” said Nabbanja.
Uganda hosts over 1.5 million refugees and asylum seekers, according to the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR. Many of them hail from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi.
Pope Francis asked all governments to ensure there was peace for all mankind to reduce the burden of Refugees.
Pope Francis and Nabbanja also engaged in the customary exchange of gifts.
The Pope gave Uganda’s Prime Minister a bronze statue representing a dove carrying an olive branch in its beak. The statue bears the inscription: “Be messengers of peace”.
He also offered Nabbanja copies of several papal documents, including the Pope’s message for this year’s World Day of Peace, the Document on Human Fraternity, and a book on the Statio Orbis on 27 March 2020, published by the Vatican’s Publishing House.
In a related development Nabbanja on Tuesday met several investment companies based in Italy under their umbrella organisation General Federation of Italian Industry (Confindustria).
The Premier who was flanked by the Executive Director Uganda Investment Authority Dr. Robert Mukiza told the investors that Uganda is a hub for investment in East and Central Africa.
During the meeting that took place at the headquarters of the Federation in Rome Italy, Nabbanja briefed the investors about the investment opportunities in Uganda.
Nabbanja said that Uganda is peaceful with infrastructure already in place for any potential investor.
Robert Mukiza, the Executive Director Uganda Investment Authority assured the investors of the good policies and availability of a skilled workforce that is young. He added that Uganda was one of the top most investment destinations in the world especially in green investment and asked Italian companies to come and invest in the country.
The President of the General Federation of Italian Industries Massimo Dal Checco said that it was a good opportunity to meet the Prime Minister and her delegation and expressed willingness to help Italian Industries to invest in Uganda.
Several companies expressed their willingness to invest in Uganda during the meeting ranging from mechanical engineering, Financial services, metal industry, oil and gas and telecommunications.
The Federation supports Italian industries operating in Africa and Middle East countries.