America’s anti-gay “sanctions” have arrived – Uganda deal with it! Reply

The United States of America has announced punitive measures in response to the signing of the Nazi anti-gay law by Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, February 24 2014.

Among the sanctions to be imposed are visa bans on those deemed responsible for human rights violations in Uganda, relocation of a health conference to South Africa, redirection of development funds from the government to non-governmental organizations and so on and so forth.

From a purely symbolic point of view, the steps America has taken are highly significant. It is America’s money to do as she pleases, but to come out and declare that a foreign government’s law is so heinous as to call for a public slap on the wrist is extremely embarrassing – for Uganda.

Ugandan officials will, of course, try to put a brave face on it, pretend that it doesn’t matter what America does. They will wax lyrical about Uganda turning to Russia or China, and how they must keep their culture and religious beliefs. It will be the usual piffle that ignores the fact that all Uganda’s major religions are foreign, and that, as Yoweri Museveni has repeatedly informed the people he leads, Ugandan tribes actually tolerated homosexuality before Biblical lore was imposed on them. But Uganda’s government has nonetheless been stung by the public dressing down from the United States which is part of the point of the sanctions. If they didn’t care, they wouldn’t have lashed out in the manner that their spokesman, Ofwono Opondo did as soon as the punishment was announced.

Gaddafi intervened heavily in the NRA war that removed Obote from power

Libya’s Gaddafi intervened heavily in the NRA war that removed Obote from power

The United States is bluntly telling Uganda that it is a basket case which is free to reject American money if it wishes. As long as Uganda accepts US tax dollars, he who pays the piper will call the tune.  It’s not lost on anyone with a modicum of intelligence that Uganda’s administration is merely about hanging on for grim death and that its leader will sign anything, say anything, do anything however contradictory to stay at the helm of his party and, by extension, country. That’s why he signed the Nazi anti-gay bill that he had consistently spoken out against and had blocked from even being debated for three years. It was purely to stave off insurrection from his own ruling National Resistance Movement.

The French Revolution brought about permanent change to France

The French Revolution brought about permanent change to France

Revolutions tend to be permanent when they are fomented from within. For some examples, think of the French Revolution – a bloody series of events in 1789 that ousted the monarchy and gave rise to the French Republic. Then there is the American revolution that ousted British colonialism. Closer to home, there is the Mau Mau rebellion, a completely local internecine struggle that toppled British rule in Kenya.

On the other side of the coin, the Falklands Islands are still a property of Britain, thanks to a lot of help from Ronald Reagan to Margaret Thatcher in 1982. She asked for and got American logistical support to win that war. Uganda’s Idi Amin would have lasted longer than 1979 had it not been for a lot of help from Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere and his Chama Cha Mapinduzi fighters. Indeed, we now also know that Museveni’s 1981-85 bush war which eventually got rid of Milton Obote was funded heavily by Gadhafi’s Libya.

So, contrary to what those who are ignorant about history might have you believe, there is a rich track record of revolutions that have been won, thanks to outside interference in other countries’ affairs, usually by invitation.

Nyerere (RIP) knew all too well about Uganda's begging ways

Nyerere (RIP) knew all too well about Uganda’s begging ways

Yours truly is of the view that the gay struggle in Uganda is one such struggle that must ask for and receive outside help. Here is a put-upon minority which would mind its own business if it were not for a pernicious, malicious cabal of religious and political leaders who are hellbent on using the lives of their fellow citizens to enrich themselves, if not to further their careers. They are cynically and blatantly feeding a poorly educated, ignorant, pliable populace with garbage and outrageous lies. Based on these lies, laws have been enacted to subjugate and even imprison for life citizens who have done nothing wrong other than be who they are.

The sanctions the United States has imposed  have been requested by the gay representatives living in Uganda. They are thus neither an imposition nor needless interference in Uganda’s politics as Ofwono Opondo is pretending; the gay community has asked for them and a sympathetic foreign government has, as Nyerere’s did in the 1970s, come to their aid.

It is thus right that Museveni’s government should be clipped around the ear like a recalcitrant child because, of course, Museveni’s government is nothing if not childish – relying on foreign handouts and then turning around and petulantly claiming that it doesn’t need America’s money even as it secretly lobbies for it not to be cut off.

Well, Uganda: America has laid down the gauntlet. If you don’t want American taxpayers dollars, fine. Reject the money or, better still, return, too, what has been given. As long as America’s policy is to help the downtrodden in countries which receive more money from America than they give, Barack Obama can decide to help the Ugandan gay community in any way they ask.

Over to you Mr. Yoweri Museveni. America under Barack Obama will not tolerate a banana republic, whose leadership relies on American money to stay in power, treating its gay citizens like vermin because American aid money is contributed by all Americans, including gay men and women.

You cannot thus have your cake and eat it, too; accepting money contributed by gay Americans among others, and then turning around and signing laws intended to maltreat your own gay people. Reject the aid. Even better, return what you have been given if you’re so righteous. Then go begging to your newly found friends in Russia and China who have such a wonderful track record of not interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.

America has exercised its choices. Feel free to do the same, too.

And now to respond to Uganda’s Patrioticsm call Reply

Today I am taking up the clarion call of Uganda’s politicians to be a patriot. I am not sure Uganda’s Parliament hasn’t already passed the Patriotic Law , but I will ride to the bugle sounds anyway because I have been riled by two snooty foreigners who have dared to publicly call out Kampala for its dusty streets.

Yours truly has been privileged to live in and/or visit more countries than a lot of people ever will; at least 30 when I lost count. The one thing I was sure not to do was insult those countries while I lived there because I was taught before I went to nursery school that it is ungrateful and rude to insult your hosts.

Having never been invited to any country – it has always been on my volition to visit – I simply left places I didn’t like never to return, taking my snotty fabulousness with me.

That is what any foreigner in Uganda should do. If you are too high-class or shi-shi for the dust, the potholes, yes even the Museveni Nazi Anti-Gay Law, pack your bags, get on a plane and go where you prefer to live. Ugandans get to poke public ridicule at their own country; it is theirs. You don’t have that privilege unless you can show that you were invited in the first place or that Uganda’s sun rises and sets on your existence.

Foreigners dears: Uganda owes you nothing; you  owe Uganda a debt of gratitude for providing you with a place to lay your head and, as is often the case, a livelihood far better than you would get in your own home country. Else, why would you live and/or keep returning to a dusty, pot-holed, vermin-infested city like Kampala, sometimes for years on end?

Come to think of it, this applies to foreigners wherever they are in the world.

Next!

Sam Kuteesa as 69th UN President: a tempest in a tea cup 1

Milton Allimadi has penned a caustic anti-Kuteesa incendiary in the Huffington Post. So has the Times of England.

Egged on, no doubt, by the usual human rights hand-wringing fraternity, there is a groundswell of opinion trying to lobby for Sam Kuteesa, Uganda’s minister of Foreign Affairs, not to be made president of the UN General Assembly despite being nominated by the African Union.

Allimadi, The Times and all those crying into their handkerchiefs should be listened to respectfully, and then Kuteesa should be slotted into the post.

Why?

Sam Kuteesa, Uganda's Minister of Foreign Affairs

Sam Kuteesa, Uganda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs

Kuteesa is a cabinet member in a government that is on record opposing the passing of the Bahati Bill, now a law. There were ministers who publicly supported the jailing of homosexuals – mostly foolish, boorish men who are easily seen for what they are when they open their mouths. Kuteesa has never been one of them.

The Bahati bill was eventually made law in a bid for Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni to hang on to power come 2016 – it had nothing to do with what was right or what Museveni believed in since he had consistently spoken out against the bill and blocked it for years until his presidency was threatened by his own party.

Sam Kuteesa supported Parliament’s right to pass laws such as this one and he is right about that; Parliaments have a right to pass laws since that’s what they are there for. That some of the laws might be foolish and ridiculous (such as the anti-gay one) is beside the point. No one will cite any instance where Kuteesa has said that he personally supports the anti-gay law. Even if he did, that wouldn’t be enough to bar him from being President of the UN General Assembly.

The presidency of the UN General Assembly isn’t really as important as the naysayers are trying to portray it. The decisions that matter are made elsewhere by the USA, the UK, China, France and Russia. If this post was even symbolically significant (it isn’t)  Qatar and Libya shouldn’t have held it in 2011 and 2009 respectively. The human rights records of those countries could hardly be held up as paragons of virtue then or today.

Kuteesa should thus be allowed to be the school prefect of the UN General Assembly; the headmasters will not lose any sleep over it and neither will the world. The time away from Uganda might actually help Kuteesa learn something about standing up for one’s views regardless of the consequences, something his office has prevented him from being able to do freely. Who knows, by the time he returns to Uganda, he might have learned a thing or two about dissenting publicly and might very well have gotten the courage to join the presidential fray for 2016.

And then his personal and political record can be scrutinized properly – at home where it really matters. Right now he is too much of an unknown quantity for his tenure at the UN to matter much.

The enigma that is Uganda’s James Onen 21

88.5 radio presenter, James Onen

88.5fm radio presenter, James Onen

Three weeks or so ago, I was informed that I had been un-friended and blocked on Facebook by a gentleman called James Onen.

Huh? I had visited Facebook numerous times without noticing that Onen had blocked me. What had I done to bring such an indignity on myself?

“Well,” the friend who gave me the news explained, “Onen posted something about you irritating him and then told his followers that he had blocked you.” So much then for his claims that he is tolerant,” we both distractedly agreed and the conversation drifted to our perennial topic; the scarcity of eligible gay men in Uganda.

But that conversation has led me to think about James Onen the person. The idea of psycho-analyzing  him had gnawed at me for about  a year but I have now been able to focus on it after what could very well turn out to be the life-devastating news of my banishment from Onen’s Facebook world.

Who really is James Onen?

I have met Onen twice in the flesh, once when I gave him and his friend a ride, and a second time in a social setting whose location isn’t important. Contrary to the impression he gives, Onen doesn’t come across as comfortable around strangers – except perhaps at night. With merely average looks, a wardrobe that doesn’t look like too much attention has gone into it, Onen is someone you would bypass without a second glance if you weren’t told that he works in radio.

Some of the basic things about the man can be surmised in about 10 minutes of listening to him: he is employed on the morning show of  Uganda’s 88.5 88.2 Sanyu FM as a presenter. He is single, 4o years old (give or take one or two years), a self-avowed ex-Christian/atheist/freethinker, and a hedonist who needs no lessons on how to burn the night candle from both ends, preferably with a bevy of scantily clad women hanging around him.

There are other things, too, that don’t need a deep thinker to figure out. For instance, James Onen has opinions on almost everything under the sun and likely has not uttered the words I don’t know to any question in the last ten years.

It is also well-known that  Onen supports gay rights, loses himself in video games and movies to an extent hardly anyone over 18, or with a family and/or a 9-5 job will find time to identify with. He also spends an inordinate amount of time on Facebook. The latter makes professional sense because he has a daily radio show to plug and will need inspiration and/or fodder from somewhere. Facebook helps him shake the tree of his ideas to see what falls out. That is when he is not scouring the internet for ideas to provoke his audience with. It’s a nice  living if you can get it.

Holding some sort of certification in Philosophy, Onen is an incisive thinker and observer of human nature. He especially has a knack for articulating what you have thought of, but wouldn’t have found the words if you had tried.

And so, Onen will liberally tell his audience how stupid anyone is to believe in God and make a perfectly logical case. From there he will be off to assure everyone that feminists are desperate shrews who contradict themselves simply by opening their mouths about women’s fights for equality. When he lambasts marriage – he consistently argues that it is an institution designed to enrich women at the expense of men – he has rich divorce statistics to pick from, many of them from pillars of entertainment and government in yonder climes.

For a sample of Onen’s faire, here is an excerpt of one of his Facebook offerings from a couple of weeks ago:

The reason why black people cry racism all the time is because they spend their lives wanting to be liked rather than respected. They also are under the mistaken assumption that respect is a thing to be demanded, rather than earned. They bitch and whine 24-7 and wonder why no one respects them, generally speaking. You know who else bitches and whines 24-7 demanding respect and attention? Toddlers. … It is therefore not something blacks will be eager to relinquish anytime soon. Why should they, when they can guilt trip the rest of the world with it and be coddled like babies as and when it’s convenient? Showing agency is too much work, right? No hope, no change, for blacks.

Which black people? Maya Angelou perhaps who has now taken her message of either changing what you don’t like or changing your attitude to the grave? The Mau Mau who chose to die rather than stay shackled to British colonialism? Nelson Mandela who chose to forgive and move on after 27 years of incarceration at the hands of white Boers? Bill Cosby who regularly speaks out against the glorification of  black ghetto culture? Barack Obama who has braved the wrath of black American demagogues and publicly told black fathers that they can do better? Or Whoopi Goldberg who has publicly refused to call herself African American because she is American and not African?

In Luganda there is a proverb that, loosely translated, says that losing your mother doesn’t mean you must forever lay yourself on her grave. You put the body in the ground, amidst all the keening you can muster, and then move on. But there is plenty of evidence that large sections of black America have refused to leave the grave-site up to and including blindly calling themselves African-Americans when they don’t even know that Africa is not one country. They have thus thrown their real-time American history in with a narrative that is not theirs, but identifying with which gives them a nebulous umbilical cord to a continent that doesn’t know them, has no propensity to understand them and wouldn’t want them back, even as the same hankering after “Africanness” also alienates them from their own country.

So, Onen has a point on this issue of racism and a people he barely knows,  a country he doesn’t seem to have ever visited, let alone lived in.

But as tends to happen with people who have a lot of media time to fill to make a living,  Onen is also a master at lurching on to a theory, masticating it in his mind and pronouncing himself on it as if he has just graduated with a PhD in it. And then he repeats it till you are sick of it.

It’s with that superciliousness that he pronounces himself on how bad for everyone marriage is. Yes, he has a point in that far too many marriages predictably end up on the rocks these days, often with the men on the receiving end of a financial fleecing. But how does he know that marriage is bad for everyone or  that the soaring divorce rates  are not merely a  sign of individuals failing to make the right choices? He didn’t answer that one, I don’t think. What about all those people, mostly in the third world who seem to keep their marriages till death do them part? Silence on that one, too.

Loud-mouthed right wing commentator with  huge following: Rush Limbaugh

Loud-mouthed right wing commentator with a huge angry following: Rush Limbaugh

James Onen is thus the Rush Limbaugh of Uganda: he initially sounds erudite and thoughtful but the more he puts out statements on everything under the sun, the more you realize that  there’s no one who can know everything about everything and so some of what he is saying must be borne out of conjecture couched as intellectual uniqueness. And once you take a closer look at who his avid followers are, rather many of them seem to be disgruntled, embittered people a part of whose lives has gone awry, thanks to what they perceive, rightly or wrongly, to be the sins of others. So, they need James Onen to assure them that they are perfect; it is their tormentors that aren’t.

Ironically, therefore, James Onen has spawned a legion of  followers who agree with his every word because they feel they are victims of the situations Onen rants about daily: shrewd women who have married and divorced for money, broken marriages that never should have happened, gays marginalized by their sexuality, cheating spouses spreading harm and hurt, women who lose themselves in feminism at the expense of blending in, white Americans dying to hear that black people are not victims and never have been, single men who must go it alone (men going their own way or MGTW they call themselves) and not commit to any one woman,  and so on and so forth. It of course makes for a negative grocery list but who is counting?

As anyone who has followed this blog will tell you, there is a lot in what Onen says that I agree makes sense. It seems, however that you disagree with Onen in a voice as loud as his at your peril.

For instance, while he is right about the victim mentality of a lot of Black Americans, what exactly does a radio personality on a small morning program in sub-Saharan Africa hope to achieve by parroting that message ad nauseum without advocating a single solution? First of all, it is really none of his business; it is black America’s. Secondly, if he hopes to educate his following, what is the message he wants them to take away in order to better their own lives if not that of the black people he scornfully lumps into one cesspool of self-pity.

Why does it seem that Onen is more interested in being right than in showing others how they could better their lives? Why are his views more valid than everyone else’s  on every subject he visits? And if he is intellectually so omnipotent, how come a civil war raged in his homeland of Northern Uganda for two decades but you will struggle to find a single thoughtful statement that Onen has uttered about the horror that Joseph Kony perpetrated on the people there?

The last question is especially pertinent because, during one of Onen’s incessant Facebook submissions, he let it out that he had not visited his motherland, in Northern Uganda, in 20 years. It was as startling as it was revealing. For, how can someone who has shown scant interest in the people from his own home, just 400 kilometers away, take so much interest in the plight of  Black Americans on a continent 6,000 miles away?

More to the point, what does it say about a radio personality from Northern Uganda who hardly says anything about his own roots, who adopts a British or American accent depending on where he is at in a sentence, and whose list of core virtues includes playing juvenile video games, using women merely as sex objects, heaping contumely on practically every facet of humanity (marriage, religion, politics, friendship, schooling, education, family, love etc) that most people around the globe would think holds some meaning to social cohesion and order?

The answer(s) wouldn’t matter if Onen didn’t also live in a country where most of the people, even those who have gone to school, don’t think for themselves (he is right when he says this) and so follow the few individuals like James Onen and Uganda’s execrable politicians who carry themselves as though they know it all, but who mainly open their mouths for the sake of it, when it is not to sate their egos.

It doesn’t for an erudite, thoughtful, challenging, independent free thinkers’ forum make but there you have it.

 

******* This item was edited after the first posting of May 30 ********

Entebbe; dead as a door-nail, dull as dishwater

Yours truly is in this sleepy little town called Entebbe for a couple of weeks – on assignment.

That means that he doesn’t get to go home as regularly as he used to, so it is not at all a bad thing that I am staying where the “assignment” is.

There is just one problem; Entebbe is a collection of little villages and mostly colonial-style dwellings on the shores of Lake Victoria that could have been picturesque had Ugandans known how to create paradise by the lake which they don’t. The rents in Entebbe nonetheless go for anything over $800 a month, thanks in large measure to the massive United Nations (UN) contingency that has settled here. To put the ridiculous rental prices in perspective, I rented a nice 2-bedroom, two and a half bath apartment in a respectable part of Kampala, Uganda’s capital, for years until two months ago at $350 a month.

Everyone who learned what I was paying screamed in horror because it was on the higher end of the scale Kampala’s blue-collar rentals go for. In Entebbe $350 might get you a one-room in a shared house in a bland neighborhood with questionable security – if you search high and low. The best places have all been taken up … by the UN for their staff.

But it is not about a place to live that one’s medulla oblongata is being exercised. No, my gripe with Entebbe is all together of a different albeit related nature – what to do with oneself once the sun sets.

There is absolutely nothing to do in Entebbe other than to go out to the few bars, most of which cater to … yes, you guessed it … UN [read mostly white people] types.

So, the bars serve up very expensive tipple, the food is equally ridiculously priced and any remotely respectable watering hole comes complete with a disproportionate share of female prostitutes, all of whom quickly ingratiate themselves on you, breathing down your neck while, all the while, trying to figure out how to pilfer your drink if they can’t sink their grubby talons into your wallet which most of them haven’t the class or guile to manage.

Don’t get me wrong, if a girl wishes to make money off her belonging, all power to her. It’s just that in our day money girls (women?) spoke in soft, sultry, cultured tones, seemed effortlessly ageless, held their heads regally high, and carried themselves in a way that, to quote from Absolutely Fabulous’ Patsy Stone, gave their business a whole air of respectability. Yet they could seduce the Pope faster than he could say “Holy Father” and many of them amassed cars, properties and children that didn’t resemble each other which was usually the giveaway about their shady sexual activities. But it was all mostly done quietly, with dignity.

The whores of yonder years also knew how to keep their mouths shut about the tricks they were turning and we still talk about their exploits in amazement without, however, knowing exactly how they managed to juggle so many women’s husbands at a time when everyone literally knew everyone else and it would have been nigh on impossible for so many men to have been ensnared into these women’s bosoms without it becoming the talk of the town, let alone agreeing to part with tracts of land, businesses and upkeep for bastard children they thought were theirs but were usually not. 

Today’s whores are diseased-looking, hungry floosies with terrible weaves,  incompetently applied make-up, knock-off shoes that are too high for their spindly legs, and with barely-there-frocks that reveal too much nether stuff that makes you struggle to keep your lunch down. They are trashy, cantankerous harridans who get into ugly confrontations with potential customers and with themselves at the drop of a hat. But they are as ubiquitous in Entebbe’s bars as lake flies, thanks in part to … the UN factor.

A drowning man grasps at straws so yours truly has over the past few days been visiting this bar that seems reasonably popular with both local and UN types, a mixed crowd you could call it. The whores here, on top of being all the other nasty things already mentioned, try too hard to speak English, making you cringe in embarrassment at their risible efforts. Even when you try to save them from biting themselves as they try to fashion a coherent sentence, they muscle you back into English, perhaps on the assumption that if you don’t speak English you don’t have what it takes to pay their way.

That is another difference between the whores of yonder years and those of today; the madams of the 70s and 80s said little, no doubt relying on their womanly wiles and deep understanding of men. The night madams of our time were no doubt an all together better raised lot than today’s hustling hussies, of that you can be sure.

But this was really supposed to be about the stifling ennui that threatens to engulf and suffocate me in this drowsy place called Entebbe that someone recently referred to, rather too flatteringly if you ask me, as the gateway to Uganda. 

Surely there must be a place where the locals [read black people] go to for their evening tipple and social well-being! But maybe this was indeed about whores after all and I just got muddled in trying to decide whether Entebbe is dull despite the ghetto-fabulous trollops or because of them.

Hmm …

Even as I prepare to leave this place, hoping not to return to live too quickly, it’s safe to say that unless you are a retiree or geriatric ready to exit this existence mentally, physically or both, Entebbe is best taken in very light doses – quickly – in what the Americans dubbed the ‘whistle-stop tour’ during Harry Truman’s time.

Then you leave as quickly as possible to go and find a world that still has a pulse.

Long John beats me to Lupita!! Tsss!

25th Annual GLAAD awards Long John and Lupita

25th Annual GLAAD awards Long John and Lupita

While I slept, in the dark because Uganda can still not keep the power on long enough for one to say electricity, Ugandan gay activist John Wambere (popularly called Long Jones/John in Uganda but don’t ask me why – wink, wink – feel free to let your imagination wander) was busy rubbing shoulders with Lupita Nyong’o. It would be totally annoying if one wasn’t too busy gnashing one’s teeth in craven jealousy.

How dare he beat me to standing next to her? Tss. Under the circumstances, I don’t know what he won – it doesn’t really matter. I am just miffed that it wasn’t yours truly standing next to the mighty Lupita! How dare Long John? The upstart!!

That said, the green-eyed-monster aside, Long John is looking good isn’t he? He nearly upstaged Lupita. Perhaps he did but I am not one to give credit where it is due so I shall not admit it.

On a tangential but pertinent note, you can send this message to every homophobic Ugandan you know; Lupita is a supporter of gay rights.

Did you hear that? Lupita supports gay rights.

Now, let all those African homophobes go away and un-watch her Oscar-winning performance.

If they can.

But back to more relevant considerations.

That should have been me with Lupita, Long Jones, it should have been me!!!

Tsssss!

Check out the rest of the 2014 GLAAD award winners, plus what they won for, here.

It should have been me with Lupita, Long Jones!!

Tssss!

Uganda’s police raid Walter Reed project, accuse it of promoting homosexuality

And now, after yesterday’s levity, here is something that should leave any person with half a brain shaking their heads in bemusement.

A couple of days ago Uganda’s police are reported to have raided the Walter Reed Project in Kampala because “it was promoting homosexuality.”

The police initially denied the reports, claiming the raid was conducted by a rogue masquerading as a security officer. But then they issued a statement on their Facebook page saying that, among other things, the police had …

“… deployed crime intelligence officers to verify the claims [of promoting homosexuality], by infiltrating the project. Two officers undertook the assignment. The officers were registered for training by the NGO, and given identification numbers. The training targeted youth between the ages of 18 and 25.

What exactly does the Walter Reed Project, which is funded by the US Government do? A commentator summed it up:

In addition to service provision to MSM populations, the Project conducted invaluable research into hemorrhagic fevers like Ebola and Marburg and was engaged in HIV vaccine research–all of which would have tremendous benefit to all Ugandans and people everywhere.

And what exactly was this pornographic movie that was shown to 18-25 year-old people who didn’t have minds of their own to walk out if they didn’t want to watch, pray? The police haven’t said yet. So, you can promote homosexuality to adults, which 18-25 year-old men and women surely are? The police doesn’t seem to have bothered itself with answering this question either.

How come the sole person arrested as a result of the clandestine police action that uncovered “criminal activity” was released without charge?

Questions, questions. Can you find something better to do other than bother Uganda’s very busy police with silly questions?

A commentator on Facebook best sums up the farce:

“I am guessing that the so-called recruitment wasn’t actually a recruitment. Right???

Plus, having watched NTV News last Friday, I know that the NGO in question was MUWRP [Makerere University Walter Reed Project] which indeed educates “at risk” persons on HIV/AIDS, safe sex and hands out ARVs, condoms and refunds transport for participants. Yes, they encourage participants to bring friends in the same predicament along to increase outreach but then they do the same for sex workers too!

If stupid cops attend a sensitization workshop aimed at gays then call it recruitment, then I guess they should attend another for HIV+ mothers and receive mama kits and ARVs and accuse the NGO of recruitment of women into pregnancy!”

Enough said on this foolishness already.

Museveni’s Nazi Anti-Gay law leads to an online gay dating clamor 5

gaydar messgeThere is something remarkable happening to the “invisible” gay population of Uganda that will have the framers of the Bahati Nazi Gay Bill (now, Museveni Nazi Gay Law) choking on their breakfasts.

Thanks to the law signed February 24, 2014 in a blaze of publicity, there has been a commensurate and, dare one say it, encouraging stampede to join gay dating sites by Ugandans.

Museveni's Nazi law ignites online gay dating

Museveni’s Nazi law fuels online gay dating

Yours truly hasn’t been keeping track but here is some interesting tidbits he has noticed. In the past, you were lucky to find more than a handful of men on any gay dating site admitting to being Ugandan, over 30 or married .A cursory check on the three most visited sites now shows it littered with men admitting to being in their 30s and 40s, being bisexual, discreet (read ‘unhappily married to a woman’) and looking for anything from a one on one relationship to group sex.

While it is still early days to assess fully the impact of the passing of the Museveni Nazi Anti-Gay Law, February 24, 2014 will likely be looked back on by historians as the day when Uganda unwittingly emboldened even more gay men and women to boldly go where they feared to go before.

As they should, given how short our lives are to exist in unhappy marriages, when our thoughts and hearts are yearning for same-sex loving that is just a click or a mouse away if only we could get the guts to go for it.

Some of the “new” entrants to the dating sites will be up to no good; spies, mischief-makers,  that sort of thing. So one has to be very careful not to be lured into a gay honey trap that ends up splashed all over some tawdry tabloid’s front pages.

manjamStill, still, … hope springs eternal.

Ironically, Yoweri Museveni’s Nazi bill seems to have given the hitherto staid and jaded Ugandan gay dating scene a much-needed shot in the arm, adding yet another epaulette to the president’s already busy uniform – Gay Recruiter in Chief.

Facebook is very fertile ground for gay hookups

Facebook is very fertile ground for gay hookups

This kind of unintended consequences is nothing terribly new of course as watchers of history will attest. Everywhere draconian laws have been passed against human volition the net effect has always been the opposite of what was intended. That’s why the prohibition laws failed in the United States in the 1920s, why the war against marijuana has failed the world over, and why laws against consensual adult same-sex loving must fail.

No law can buck the human spirit.

None.

Dr. Spe lives up to her billing as UN Envoy, lambasts Museveni’s Nazi anti-gay law 5

If you are a Ugandan representative employed by any global/international body that espouses equal rights for all, be warned. You’d better walk the talk of equal rights or we’ve got you in our cross hairs.

“I am in full solidarity with the LGBT community across Africa." Spe Kazibwe

“I am in full solidarity with the LGBT community … across Africa.” Specioza Kazibwe

That’s what Uganda’s former Vice President, Specioza Wandira Kazibwe (Dr. Spe) discovered when she chose reticence over the Nazi anti-gay bill her former boss, Yoweri Museveni, signed February 24.

Before the awful bill was signed, Spe Kazibwe, Special Envoy to the United Nations on HIV/Aids in Africa was remarkably silent. She made some sort of vague allusion to human rights at a conference in South Africa but she might have been speaking about the right for women to wear mini-skirts, for such was her waffling.

Then the bill was signed. Silence from Dr. Spe!

Imagine then one’s astonishment when she came out, guns ablaze, against the bill and even went so far as to excoriate Yoweri Museveni for not listening to her private entreaties to him not to sign it.

“I am in full solidarity with the LGBT community and I will continue to defend their rights in Uganda and across Africa. Rest assured of my unwavering support and action for the realisation of the rights for every human being, which has been my struggle since childhood. I will not reverse my path. I will continue to engage with the Government of Uganda and civil society organisations on this important matter.”

Yours truly was truly surprised.  That is until it was revealed to him that she hadn’t picked up the mantle on her own, but had been pushed by none other than a pro-gay pressure group, called AIDS-Free World!

Indeed it turns out that she was prompted by a scathing letter that was written to the UN Secretary General by the Aids-Free World directors, in which they demanded that Dr. Spe be dismissed for her silence on the anti-gay bill. Clearly having heard about another Ugandan doctor, employed by the Global Fund, who found himself forced to turn in his employment badge because of views that were in contradiction to those he signed up to when he was hired, Dr. Spe chose to play to the international gallery.

And yours truly can only commend her for seeing sense  and talking loudly about it, too. Right in time – before the guillotine fell.

If you are a Ugandan representative employed by any global/international body that espouses equal rights for all, be warned. You’d better walk the talk of equal rights or we’ve got you in our cross hairs.

And that’s not a threat; it’s a promise!

Related articles:

1. Will Homosexuals bring down Museveni

Another “eviction letter” 9

One has to think twice about what would be achieved by posting eviction letters that have been initiated on account of the Nazi anti-gay bill Museveni signed February 24. In this case it seems useful to belabor the point since the letter (below) was initiated by a local council aficionado as the stamp and letterhead seem to suggest, and the eviction is clearly illegal even when you factor in the Nazi law that is used as the pretext.

Local government "eviction letter" of a gay man from a Kampala suburb

Local government “eviction letter” of a gay man from a Kampala suburb

Translation of the letter (by yours truly):

To

xxx xxx [name withheld)

I am writing to inform you that you have been evicted from the house you live in because of the stories [about your gay lifestyle] that appeared on Bukedde Television and in the print media. We can no longer live with someone like you. Therefore, vacate the premises before the 5th of May 2014

Secretary Kawooya (Namungoona-Kasubi LCI)

Nanyonjo H

Unless the secretary (Ms. Kawooya) is the landlord, she cannot initiate an eviction notice on a property that doesn’t belong to her. She also has no right to give a tenant just a couple of days’ notice to vacate a place of abode. But this is Uganda where all sorts of things will happen, however illegal, so who knows.

If the letter is real, and there is no reason to suggest is isn’t, we are looking, ladies and gentlemen, at government-inspired hounding of gay men and women out of their places of abode simply because of the perception about who they are, and not for anything they are confirmed to have done.