Receiving aid from foreign nations on the condition of fair treatment for gay citizens is a “sinful” requirement, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has warned.
Africans do not need handouts if they “stop sleeping and work”, The Daily Telegraph reports President Museveni said this week.
The 69-year-old outspoken leader stated the only thing that Africans “do well” is “multiply and fill the Earth”, while not working hard to ensure productivity to feed all the continent’s people.
Mr Museveni said changing this balance would make the continent more self-sufficient.
“Uganda does not need aid,” he claimed of his own country. “Uganda is so rich, we should be the ones to give aid.
“The only thing we need from the world is trade, if they can buy our products. Aid becomes important only when people are asleep.”
Mr Museveni said it was “unreligious” to offer aid with strings attached.
Last month, the US announced that it had cut aid to Uganda, imposed visa restrictions, and cancelled a regional military exercise because of the Anti-Homosexuality Act.
The law calls for repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison and makes it a criminal offence not to report someone for being gay.
“The President is a religious man, he sees aid which comes from religious organisations that then add demands over gay people to be unreligious, and he is right that we don’t need it,” said Tamale Mirundi, a spokesman for Mr Museveni.
“In his speech he made clear that Uganda can be self-reliant, and the aid cuts have woken us up and invigorated us. The President has always opposed aid, from the beginning.”
The UK Government has stated that none of its aid goes directly to the Ugandan Government.