Uganda’s main opposition leader has suggested he would decriminalise homosexuality if he came to power and said that arresting homosexuals is a waste of police manpower.

“This is something that is done in the privacy of people’s rooms, between consenting adults,” said Forum for Democratic Change leader, Kizza Besigye during a townhall debate that was scheduled to appear on Ugandan television.

Besigye said he was speaking only for himself and not the four party coalition that he leads, but said the issue of homosexuality had, “generated far too much excitement” in the present administration, and that police resources “could be better spent elsewhere.”

Besigye is seeking to end the 25 year reign of President Yoweri Museveni, who first came to power in a 1986 coup.

The February 18 election will be the third time Besigye has challenged for the presidency.

At the last of these in 2006, Besigye won 37 percent of the vote in an election which the Supreme Court of Uganda found was marred by intimidation, violence, voter disenfranchisement and other irregularities.

Uganda currently has a bill before the Parliament which would see GLBTs jailed for life, or executed if repeat offenders or HIV positive.

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