Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni has announced he will not pass the anti-homosexuality bill before carefully scrutinising it.

Speaking at a Christmas prayers event in west Uganda recently, he said he would push the bill back to parliament if he did not agree with it.

Responding to a demand by Uganda’s Head of the Pentecostal Churches, he said: “I will first go through it, if I find that it is right I will sign but if I find that it is not right I will send it back to parliament.”

Apostle Joseph Serwadda had called him to sign the bill into law.

Previously, Museveni said that the country must take into consideration its foreign policy interests when debating an anti-homosexuality bill.

He said: “The prime minister of Canada came to see me and what was he talking about? Gays.

“Prime minister Gordon Brown came to see me and what was he talking about? Gays.

“Mrs Clinton [the US secretary of state] rang me. What was she talking about? Gays.”

Last week, Uganda’s minister for ethics James Nsaba Buturo said he believed Museveni did not support the death penalty for gays and said the provision was likely to be removed from the bill.

Aston Kajara, minister of state for investments, has also said the bill is “unnecessary”.

The bill would impose the death penalty on gays who have sex with minors, disabled people or while living with HIV. Other homosexuality offences, such as failing to report incidents to police, would result in imprisonment.

It is expected to come before parliament in late February or early March.