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

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! Reply

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!!!


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!!


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

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.


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):


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.

Once it became about Museveni, Western tactics became irrelevant 14

Elizabeth Ann Palchik has what I think is an excellent article commenting on how Barack Obama’s public fist-clenching was counter-productive because it forced Museveni into a corner, and into signing the anti-gay bill just to illustrate that he wasn’t going to be pushed around by America.

But then check out Lynne Featherstone (Minister at the Department for International Development in the United Kingdom) lamenting that taking a subtle approach didn’t work. 

Curiously perhaps, I agree with both Palchik and Featherstone.

How so?

The Bill, hatched in 2009, was kept in limbo for 3 years, despite clear Parliamentary backing, by Yoweri Museveni who made no pretense about why he didn’t want any part of it; it was a foreign policy matter that only he dealt with. In effect, he told his own National Resistance Movement (NRM) members of Parliament in early 2010 that he wouldn’t sign the bill because he needed donor money to fight the 2011 election and they retreated into their shells because they knew how important he was to their own political survival in a country where for the president to endorse you usually means you are a shoo-in for election or re-election and his displeasure with you is a sure kiss of death. Museveni collected the money he needed from the donors, $3bn according to some unofficial estimates, paid off the electorate and got re-elected in 2011.

John Baird's Quebec outburst revived the Bill and helped get it signed into law

John Baird’s Quebec outburst changed the political landscape in Uganda and helped get the bill signed

Come October 2012, the Canadian foreign minister revived the comatose bill when he publicly lambasted Rebecca Kadaga in Quebec about it. Sensing an opening for her 2016 presidential ambitions, Kadaga gleefully turned to the phalanx of cameras and gave as good as she got. The bill would be decided by Uganda which was not a colony or protectorate of Canada. She returned to Uganda to a rapturous welcome from the anti-gay lobby which had all but given up on finding their way past Museveni’s intransigence that the bill must not be even debated.

John Baird’s interference had, unwittingly, changed the political tone of Uganda’s politics and now the anti-gay side had a seemingly viable champion who could challenge Museveni in 2016. Rebecca Kadaga promised to deliver the bill for Christmas 2012 and set about campaigning for the presidency even as she also openly feuded with Amama Mbabazi, another contender for the 2016 presidency. Museveni managed to stall the passing of the bill that Christmas but he was hanging on by his political fingernails.

In 2013, the internecine political wranglings in the top echelons of the NRM escalated. Kadaga’s international stature grew with all the awards and posts she was racking up, and  she spent more time in Uganda’s regions and on the world stage than in Parliament – literally campaigning for the presidency even though she thinly disguised it as doing her job as Speaker of the House. We now know that Museveni’s Prime Minister was, with the help of his wife, also actively making his own presidential campaign preparations, albeit more surreptitiously than the Speaker of the House.

Slowly being humiliated by Museveni: Prime Minister Mbabazi

Slowly being humiliated by Museveni: Prime Minister Mbabazi

With the same secrecy that Mbabazi was using to set up his campaign stall, Parliament plotted to bring the anti-gay bill to the floor and Kadaga, all along conniving with a number of Parliamentarians on tactics, let them pass it shortly before Christmas 2013. Museveni and Mbabazi were both caught off guard, and Mbabazi could barely hide his chagrin at what he must have seen as his ambitions being pulled from under him by his political enemy, Rebecca Kadaga. He complained feebly in Parliament that the bill was being passed without the necessary votes needed but was totally ignored.

Usually composed and self-assured, the vote for the bill threw Museveni for a loop, forcing him to write an angry, personal attack against Rebecca Kadaga in which he inferred that she, too, was as “abnormal” as the homosexuals since she was childless and unmarried. He wouldn’t sign the bill.

But it was clear the ground was slipping from under His Excellency when the whispering became a cascade that if he didn’t sign the bill he would be abandoned by his party.

There was nothing for it but for Museveni to swing into action. He would now seek scientists’ views about homosexuality and make his mind up thereafter. In the meantime, he let it be known to his close supporters that he knew of his Prime Minister’s plotting and he allowed them to collect signatures at the ruling National Resistance Movement’s annual retreat in Kyankwanzi -all pledging allegiance to another 28 years of Museveni. That partly took care of Rebecca Kadaga who wasn’t even at the meeting to try to mount a rearguard action.

But what price had the NRM acolytes who signed allegiance to Museveni extracted? All was revealed when the scientists’ report was presented and Museveni claimed that it told him that being gay was a choice. Of course it told him no such thing but he was already prepared to spin it his way to keep his presidential hopes with his own party alive. He would now sign the bill.

By the time Barack Obama intervened publicly (I agree totally that he should have been more aware of the political dynamics on the ground and saved his breath), the die was cast. Museveni had, like Macbeth, waded in too deep, “stepped in so far that should [he] wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er.”

Likely after some frantic phone calls from Washington, Museveni made a last gasp nod to Obama that he would ask for a second opinion from international scientists. But all that was just confused, desperate, flim-flam as he looked for a way to appease Washington while also keeping his political base in line. There was none and Museveni signed the bill February 24th without waiting for the extra scientists’ report he had announced only days before.

The gloves were off once the bill became about Yoweri Museveni's political survival

The West became irrelevant once the bill was about Yoweri Museveni’s political survival

Signing the bill finally erased the only electoral advantage Kadaga had mastered within the NRM and Museveni could now go after his other adversary, Amama Mbabazi. Thanks to a phone tapping bill that Prime Minister Mbabazi had supported in Parliament, Museveni had voice transcripts of conversations that confirmed that his own Prime Minister was secretly plotting to be president.Within days, he made public the recorded conversations in which Mbabazi’s people were heard to be canvassing for support, confirming pay-offs and denigrating Museveni as old, tired and out of touch.

As yours truly writes this, Mbabazi is in retreat, denying this and refusing to comment on that. He is best advised to come out boldly so that if he fails in his presidential bid, he at least goes out with honor. But that’s not how Uganda’s politics works so poor Mbabazi is going to keep on denying, even as he is openly stripped of power and influence, to be replaced by the very people he was using to plan his own presidential bid.

See why both Palchik and Featherstone are right?

Once it was apparent to Museveni, in 2012, that his office was under serious threat from within his own party, what the West did or didn’t do wasn’t going to work. The anti-gay bill happened to be the vehicle Rebecca Kadaga (who is personally not anti-gay at all) was riding so Museveni had to derail her by agreeing to sign it.

The bill became tangential, thanks to John Baird, in October 2012, because Baird helped change the discourse from being about homosexuality to one of Museveni’s political survival. In that sense you can argue that Baird’s intervention was counterproductive since it gave Rebecca Kadaga the opening she was looking for to look and sound presidential on an issue that she knew the entire country could rally behind – Uganda’s national pride. Even yours truly supported her response to Baird.

Last month, Obama should have known the futility of opening his mouth against the bill, and should have kept his powder dry as Britain’s Cameron did. Palchik is right on this. But, the subtle approach Featherstone is now frowning upon shouldn’t have been bothered with either once it became clear that the anti-gay bill was no longer about the gays in Uganda but about Museveni’s political survival.

The West should have shut up shop and gone home in November 2012 when Kadaga showed she was intent on using the bill as her Trojan Horse to the presidency and it was clear she had the political traction if Museveni remained obdurate about not passing it.

Their interjections, whether loud or subtle, were never going to make any difference as Museveni was going to do whatever it took to stay in power till he died – yes, up to and including signing a bill he didn’t like, had admitted was foolish and unworkable, and on which he had incontrovertible evidence from his own scientists telling him that homosexuality was NOT different to heterosexuality.

It is to give the West too much credit to argue that, after October 2012, there was anything they could have done to stave off the signing of this Nazi bill.

Ugandan Lesbian “evicted” because of new anti-gay law 7

This is one President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is going to be very proud of.

Thanks to His Excellency’s signature on a page, a land lord has balked and given a lesbian who has been an exemplary tenant notice to quit his house because of what he calls “the way you behave with your friends.”

The verbatim eviction notice (translation below)

The verbatim eviction notice (translation below)

The landlord’s note (translated by yours truly) as has been sent to me:

3 March 2014

Ms. XXX XXX (names withheld):

You have been a wonderful woman as well as a tenant who hasn’t given me any trouble over rent whatsoever. But due to what is going on in the country [regarding the anti-gay law] and your way you and your friends behave, I am sorry but I think you are a depraved person who I can no longer tolerate in my house. I also cannot fight against the government. For that reason, I want you out of my house by March 30, 2014, peacefully.

Your landlord,

XXXXX (name withheld)

One cannot of course totally vouch for the authenticity of the notice, but if,  as seems to be the case at this point, this eviction notice is real, readers must thus make what they will of this rather grim development.

Long live Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Long live the wise president of Uganda! May you live to rule over Uganda for another 28 years.

The shrill gay battle is over; time now for a quieter fight. 12

It is true that, as Museveni stated before he signed the bill February 24, gay activism in Uganda has lost a ferocious battle.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The war is not over yet even if it is time to move on from the hysteria surrounding the anti-gay bill, now a law.

Before we move on, it is important to give all due respect and gratitude for the motley crew of men and women who have nearly brought Uganda to its knees on account of their gay rights advocacy. They likely don’t know it yet but Uganda’s gay activists, fronted by Jacqueline Kasha Nabagesera and Frank Mugisha, have conducted probably the most successful campaign for minority rights recognition Uganda has ever seen and is likely to see for a long time.

The tactics seemed simple enough – yell when you can, run when you can, knock on influential doors when you can, and hide when you can. It worked because that is what the fight needed at that time; for Uganda to wake up and realize that gay men and women existed and weren’t going anywhere.

Yours truly rates the height of Kasha’s and Mugisha’s success at what some might see as a frivolous event; a gay dance party, one evening, in Kampala last year that must have had at least 400 gay men and women there. Despite thinking I knew what was going on in the gay community, I couldn’t name more than 15 people in the crowd. All were young men and women I had never seen in my life and all were having the time of their lives … and deservedly so.

That was the cap, for me, of the success Mugisha and Nabagesera had achieved; getting so many young men and women to accept who they were and come out to celebrate it. For that every gay man and woman in Uganda must forever show these two people respect. The gay genie in Uganda is well and truly out of the bottle and no signature on a page will ever change that. Ever. In that respect, ignorance about homosexuals and homosexuality in Uganda has been soundly defeated. Even government ministers now quibble, after the bill became law, that as long as gays don’t flaunt it, they can do as they please.

With that pen Museveni put an end to the megaphone fight.

With that pen Museveni put an end to the megaphone diplomacy

Now that the bill has been signed, it is time for some introspection about the tactics and direction of the “struggle.”

First of all, the megaphone advocacy of ‘they are going to kill us,’ ‘stop the hate’ etc. needs to be put on ice if not shelved completely. It was tried and ultimately didn’t stop the bill, even though it might have impressed a handful of donors.

It is also time to accept that, with the bill signed, going on radio to engage Martin Ssempa or running around to talk to CNN and Reuters about how dangerous Uganda is, must be a waste of time. Museveni sealed Uganda’s reputation as not that different from Idi Amin’s time when he signed that bill and there is nothing more one can say to change the worldwide perception that Uganda is now as bad Hitler’s Germany.

What Museveni did with the stroke of that pen was to put a close, too, to the ignorant, uneducated, ill-bred street chatter, to the loud-mouth and empty mind Facebook vituperative, and to the asinine rhetoric from Parliament. All those empty tin Ugandans, and goodness does this country have its share of them, have had their day in the sun.

The next chapter will be a legal one; the bill must be challenged in Constitutional Court of course.

But that is a rather different environment where the power of your reasoning counts for far more than how freely you froth at the mouth.

A legal eagle friend told me this morning not to put too much stock in the constitutional challenge and I had to disagree for two reasons.

The first one is that precedent is on the side of the courts throwing this bill out. There have been three legal challenges brought by the pro-gay lobby in Uganda that I know of. The courts have sided with gay rights on all of them, and so trenchantly on all three occasions that the losers were left wincing in embarrassment. In fact, I am not aware of a single case where the pro-gay side has lost in Uganda’s courts of law in the last five years.

The second reason one must count on the courts is simple: there is simply nowhere else left to go. Barack Obama has crowed against the bill but he will turn back on the taps of aid, which will mostly end up in the pockets of ministers, in three or four weeks. That’s how things work. Britain’s Cameron has this time not even bothered to utter a word. He no longer sees the point. A number of Scandinavian countries have pulled the aid plug and the World Bank this morning made some noises about $90m to be suspended. They need to read Elizabeth Anne Palchik’s excellent analysis on why they are whistling in the dark, and then they should keep the aid coming in. Best to do that and not add even more ill-will towards homosexuals who will be made scapegoats when even more mothers die in childbirth and HIV/Aids medications run out. Uganda is a basket case that will go even deeper into the toilet if the aid is stopped – but the Ugandan homosexuals will go down with it.

The internecine trench warfare is over, and the gay community has lost. With the loss, many of the activists whose livelihood was derived solely from campaigning against the bill need to turn off the lights, go home and find something else to do. The gay rights advocacy now needs to focus on health and wellness programs – on ensuring that gay men and women have condoms, lubricant, access to medical information to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases and on self-empowerment projects that will help all these young gay bums who, like preying mantises, make a living off stealing from their sexual partners or selling pictures and information to The Red Pepper. Gay advocacy should now shift to teaching these emerging homosexuals how to avoid catching expensive STDs, the value of getting tested regularly, and how to humble themselves, work hard and earn their own money.

The next national battle will be in the courts and it requires a different type of advocacy. It is for lawyers, and other legal minds and it should not be anywhere near the decibel levels we’ve seen over the past four years because it is more about high level critical thinking than being emotional.

Thank you activists all over the world for your shrill, hysterical contribution. As Palchik put it, a lot of it turned out to be counter-productive but, yours truly will admit that some of it was what was needed at the time to give publicity to the issues. There is thus no dishonor in the fact that it didn’t stop the bill from becoming law.

It’s time for pro-gay donors to accept that the battle to stave off the bill has been lost, and to channel their funding to the legal campaign which must follow as surely as day follows night. The legal fight must not be starved of cash even if much of it will end up in the lawyers’ wallets – that’s the way of the world.

And finally …

Dear foreign well-wishers … Unless the Ugandan lawyers specifically ask for your intellectual contribution, don’t give it.


Patrobas Mufubenga fired from Global Fund for bigoted views 5

Yours truly is usually not one to gloat about the misfortunes of others but he is going to allow himself a moment to chuckle about this one.

Dr. Patrobas Mufubenga, the Ugandan delegate to the Global Fund has been dismissed due to his views on the anti-gay bill.

Likely not smiling now: Mufubenga

Likely not smiling now: Dr. Mufubenga

It would appear that Mufubenga was accepted by The Developing Country NGO Delegation to the Board of The Global Fund (quite a mouthful but never mind) on the understanding that he agreed with that organization’s inclusive policy towards everyone. Then he forgot himself and shot his mouth off, supporting the Nazi anti-gay bill Yoweri Museveni signed February 24.

Now he is out of a job – and fittingly so if you ask me. If he wants to be a bigot, he should find an agency that shares his views.

“every society is free to choose the path it takes and the consequences there in. Sodom and Gomorrah chose homosexuality and perished by the raining brimstone, while the Abraham generation that chose the ways of God was preserved. “What Uganda is trying to do is to curb the spread of the device (sic), while rehabilitating the victims, preserving family and humanity (procreation)”. [The e-mail that Dr. Mufubenga will regret at leisure for having written while employed with the Global Fund]

Rather apt, wouldn’t you say? In keeping with his doctrine, Dr. Mufubenga chose the path he took and he has paid the consequences therein.

Dr. Mufubenga’s views do not reflect the  values and ethos of the Delegation or the Global Fund. We reject and denounce his sentiments without reservation. Going forward, and to prevent similar cases as these, the leadership team met in Thailand and began discussions around reviewing the application and interview processes for membership to the delegation. [Global Fund]

Enough on this already.