An LGBT death in Kenya to wake up the living 7

This is going to begin with a death, but it is really about the living – if they are willing to pay attention.

John Paul13_n

The late John Paul Mulumbi

John Paul Mulumbi, a Ugandan member of the LGBTI refugee community in Kenya died a few days ago. His body was repatriated back to Uganda and he was buried Saturday February 6, 2016.

Those who knew John Paul say that he was a beautiful, gentle, and kind soul. “Whenever he came to Kampala from Jinja, all the gay sex workers trembled at his monopoly over the market,” one of the commentators who is familiar with the prowess of his sex work remarked.

John Paul seems to have been hit from all sides before he eventually succumbed and slipped away. While still in Uganda, he had acted in some awful porn movies some years back. Then he went to Kenya and sought asylum, hoping to be relocated to a friendlier clime. Reports suggest that his HIV status was a stumbling block in his attempts to be resettled. As he had done in Uganda, he resorted to sex for money, which likely led to depression because sex workers are more used and abused than respected everywhere in Africa. Life’s tough anyway for the Ugandans who’re claiming LGBT asylum in Kenya and, without a proper income, strict medication adherence and no firm economic and social anchor, John Paul’s end was as tragic as it was predictable.

That is where the focus on death ends and one shifts to the living, specifically the Ugandan LGBTs still living in Kenya, having claimed asylum in the hope of being resettled in Europe, the Americas and elsewhere.

A number of LGBTs in Kenya have contacted yours truly with stories indicating that they are facing similar circumstances to the ones that frustrated John Paul’s chances to get resettled. One thus feels it makes sense to send them some advice.

Dear hopeful LGBT Ugandans currently living in Kenya, awaiting asylum relocation to yonder lands:

1. It is true that some countries, for instance Australia, have dropped resettlement applicants when they learn of their HIV status. It is thus important that you do your homework and, wherever possible, try to find ways of being relocated to more friendly countries to those afflicted with HIV. For example, since 2010 the Obama administration dropped automatic inadmissibility into the USA on the basis of HIV status so that is one of the more friendly countries to HIV+ asylum applicants.

2. If you are HIV+ and are on medication, you must adhere to your regimen. Cut back on non-essentials, reduce your discretionary expenditure until you have taken care of your health because no one else will do it for you.
3. Jobs are difficult to come by in Kenya, just as they were in Uganda where you fled from. You should have known this before you boarded that bus to Kenya and prepared yourself mentally for a life of hardship while your asylum application was being processed. Kenyans understandably employ their own, so don’t take it personally if they overlook you for fellow citizens. You would do the same in Uganda.

That said, before you resort to sex work, remember that it is going to lead you into the murky world of being exploited, used and abused and likely also lead to depression which can be a slippery slope to losing your life. Sex workers everywhere in Africa face tough conditions so you will not find any different treatment in Kenya. Explore other ways of earning some money, without however, abrogating the conditions of your asylum status because that could also affect your chances of relocation.
4. You know it is true that some Ugandan LGBTs have been involved in repeated cases of indiscipline in Kenya; throwing raucous gay parties in rented accommodations, making scenes in bars and on the streets, muscling in on Kenyan gays’ relationships, and generally carrying on as if they went to Kenya to be divas. The result has been enmities and jealousies created, brawls in public places, brushes with the law, … you name it … a lot of which has been reported to the UNHCR and the Kenyan authorities. You will be your own worst enemy if you continue with that kind of recklessness, and you must be prepared to pay the price if you don’t desist from such destructive behavior.
5. A number of you have notified me that you were offered relocation to countries such as the United States and you rejected them, opting instead to wait for “more friendly” offers from Sweden or Norway for instance. The reason for this is that apparently word had gotten to you that Sweden provided softer landings than the USA. You’d found out that in Sweden or Norway refugees got full welfare provisions for two years, they didn’t work while they were learning the language culture and basic courses. In contrast, the USA paid limited initial rent and food stamps, and then you had to take any job to fend for yourself.

Listen up and listen up carefully:

You must change that type of foolish entitlement mentality. Many of you have fled Uganda for Kenya, with little or no money, limited education and skills to do anything professional right off the bat. You cannot thus also expect to be looked after by the taxpayers of other countries until you decide you are ready to start working. You ought to be grateful if you can start working “yesterday” at any job. The world doesn’t owe you a living simply because you are a refugee or homosexual and so you must desist from looking for ways to live as a jigger.

Sweden has in the recent weeks cut back on refugee acceptances owing to the influx from Syria and Afghanistan, and is planning to sieve and send back the lines already in their country. What if they close their doors completely? What if American government policy changes again once the Obama administration leaves office, as they must by January 2017, and HIV is put back on the list of automatic exclusions by President Donald Trump, Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio? Are you following political developments in the countries that you hope to migrate to?

Enough on this already.

White Jonny comes to the rescue of poor blacks 1

Jonny von Wallström, who calls himself a “self shooting director, human rights advocate, farmer and world exploring artist living in Sweden” has penned a deliberate tear jerker for the Huffington post, ostensibly showing Uganda as “one of the most transphobic places in the world.”

Really? In comparison to what other countries?

America where the transgender phenomenon is now being treated as a novelty, thanks to the public transformation of a white reality television personality even though black transgender men and women have been getting the short end of the stick for eons?  Or South Africa where gay marriage was enshrined in law well before it was in Sweden and Norway? Australia perhaps?

Is Mr. Wallström perhaps making the mistaken assumption that having LGBTI-friendly laws on the statutes translates into public understanding and embracing of transgender people?

Would Mr Wallström thus call South Africa more transgender friendly than Uganda simply because they have laws on their books that favor LGBTI even if there is more evidence there of violence against LGBTI than anything he can provide evidence for in Uganda?

If not, what standard is the writer using to tar Uganda with his scarlet letter, one trans person’s experience?

What if I told him that it is equally unsettling for most people in every country in the world to understand the trans phenomenon and that, therefore, education is the key everywhere, not just in Uganda?

Mr. Wallström:

You will not be able to count off on your fingers countries in the world where treatment of trans people is different from what you describe in your piece.

Is the treatment wrong? Yes. Unique to Uganda? No.

You will also find that it actually makes better sense to let us black Africans tell these stories ourselves. It might surprise some but we are educated enough to tell the world about our plight.

For a sample, check out a nascent but very good idea that likely would have made a more authentic case for this story – Kuchu Times.  It is written by black LGBTI Ugandans, for LGBTI Ugandans, with a Ugandan LGBTI perspective. I am sure you will accept that they are not doing a bad job at all.

Please keep that in mind next time you sojourn into an African country to seek tear-jerking stories to make your own.

I attended a high class gay party in Uganda last week! 7

Yours truly attended a classy Gay Pride affair last Wednesday evening on a roof top in the heart of Kampala. About 100 people, give or take a few, attended.

This event is important to put on the record because, as everyone knows, gay events in their nascent stages have traditionally been down-market affairs characterized by threadbare organization in sleazy venues and a lack of purpose, yes even in the developed world. The reason for this has been that being gay has been and continues to be treated by those who don’t know any better as dirty and of pariah status, leaving anyone wishing to put on anything decent unable to find a willing venue to host it even if they could raise the money.

Well, this event happened in Uganda, in Kampala, of course with the full awareness of the government authorities since nothing like that can happen without the state’s tacit approval. In attendance on this beautiful night were diplomats, local and foreign activists, medical experts, volunteers, well-wishers and, of course, such luminaries as yours truly.

The wine and beers flowed, sensible conversation ensued and you had to pinch yourself if you heard anyone say ‘low class’ about anything at this gig. There really was nothing low-class about it. Most importantly, it was an opportunity for those who write the checks, civil society and the foot soldiers who pound the pavements to mingle and network. Yours truly got two important phone numbers that he will soon follow up on …

The gay movement in Uganda is taking advantage of lessons learned in battles and skirmishes elsewhere to ably punch above its weight – with a little help from its friends. This is not a bad thing at all because one uses whatever clout one can muster. It is mostly embarrassing to quote that man but it was President George W. Bush who once said that if you’ve got the power, use it. In this case yours truly agrees with him if only because to do so at this time helps the LGBT movement in Uganda skip stages of struggle worth decades. Think of how long it took from when the first shot was fired for Gay Pride to be celebrated in America and you will understand what I mean.

Yours truly remains disinclined towards pride parades as they seem like too much of a cut and paste initiative. But that’s not to say they shouldn’t happen or that they serve no purpose. But this wasn’t about me at all was it?

It was about the classy, dressy, chi-chi, LGBT cocktail party that I attended ‘smack down’ in the heart of Uganda’s capital city, with the full knowledge of the security services, courtesy of the gay movement in Uganda!

Hmm …

Terrible news! My Eric Mawira is upset! 1

Eric Mawira Gitari. Do you remember him?

He is the Kenyan man I swooned over recently and offered to marry on account of his sex appeal, cutting intellect and fearlessness.

Well, my crush, my Eric, is crushed, gutted, destroyed.

Specifically, Eric is tearing what’s left of his hair out on account of his president, Uhuru Kenyatta, pronouncing gay rights in Kenya “a non issue” in a podium response to American president, Barack Obama that was beamed across the entire African continent and the world.

eric mawira

Eric Mawira Gitari nearly giving himself cardiac arrest

But should Eric’s melancholy really be allowed to cast a pall on  what has, doubtless, been an exceptionally momentous week for Kenya and, paradoxically if you are not thinking far ahead, for gay rights in Kenya and Africa?

Eric my darling:

You risk looking naïve if you don’t realize that, like the American president currently stoking up a storm of excitement in Kenya that is akin to the Second Coming, Uhuru Kenyatta is an elected politician who has to keep an eye on the pulse of his voters. You confound watchers who are aware that, despite the American racial ulcers that have kept that great country in contortions for more than two centuries, Barack Obama put provision of health care for the most needy Americans on top of his political agenda in his first term of office.

Obama, too, seems to have spent more time talking about the need to stop a far away country developing nuclear weapons than he has about racial tensions in his backyard. Yes, my beautiful Eric, that country is Iran.

While he has been doing all that, Barack Obama has made a black man his country’s top legal eagle, a significant first that many often completely overlook. Then he has replaced him with a black woman. Yet another first, but who is counting?

In the meantime, the black deaths at the hands of the police in America have continued, as have the even higher deaths of black men and women at the hands of their own. Barack Obama has, however, not spoken much at the podium about what he is doing about them all. Might that be perhaps because even he doesn’t have the magic bullet to a problem that the richest country in the world hasn’t figured out how to solve in more than 200 years?

After you raise your head from hanging it on Facebook, my irresistible Gitari, you will, I imagine, accept that it is often not what politicians say on the podium, but what they do behind closed doors to effect change,that really matters, won’t you?

As a classic example, can you believe that while she was promising the world that she would never negotiate with terrorists, Margaret Thatcher was talking to Sinn Fein in secret? No, perhaps not. That was Britain so it doesn’t count, and you were still too young then anyway.

And while we are at it, isn’t it also true that today you can run a coach and horses through the space for dialogue that your current government has created between pivotal ministries (Health and Justice, for instance) and the gay community in Kenya? Or is that just a canard this lovelorn admirer of yours is making up in the tenuous hope that you will notice him finally and pay him some attention?

Finally, my indomitable Mawira: don’t you ascribe to the age-old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity?

If you don’t, can you perhaps drop your self-pity for a couple of seconds and think about the significance of the leader of the free world and Kenya’s rather cool president (if you ask me) discussing corruption, that small thing that afflicts literally every one of Africa’s 1.2 billion people, and homosexuality, that absolutely critical issue which “afflicts” rather less, with all the world’s cameras following closely, beaming the sensible, sane, sober exchange directly into homes in rural Kogelo (Kenya) and Kotwa (Zimbabwe)?

Eric Mawira, my hot-blooded homosexual rights warrior:

I became besotted with you from a distance because I only fall in love with smart people. I must thus stop lecturing you and work on getting our unrequited love to the next level before your hyper-ventilating does you in.

“Money blinded UNHCR to LGBTI scams” in Nairobi 1

Following the reports about people trafficking from Uganda to Kenya under the guise of “gay persecution” it would appear that the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) may wittingly or otherwise be abetting the despicable people-smuggling scams taking place, many of them involving heterosexual people masquerading as persecuted gay people.

This (edited) excerpt from a concerned observer who asked not to be named, sheds light on the premise that money is driving the UN program at the expense of probity and thoroughness:

The UN was warned several times last year by some of us about the growing numbers of both LGBTIQs and ”straights” being trafficked. The [bona fide LGBTIQ] complained many months ago of large numbers of homophobic, abusive ”straights” who had piggy-backed the LGBTIQ (kuchus) exodus from UG and were being registered in Nairobi and Kakuma, due to UN’s casual registration procedures…..

We also realized that the ”refugee industry” being what it is, requires numbers. The more who register, the more money the UN gets especially when something is portrayed as a ”crisis’ as indeed the [LGBTI]exodus was. Some of these ”straights” have been identified as informants from Kampala on a fishing expedition. This was one of the causes of the big split which occurred in Kakuma last year, between kuchus and non-kuchus, which resulted in all the kuchus leaving Kakuma and the straights remaining there till now (also because of violent attacks on kuchus by other refugees in Kakuma, at which point non-kuchus would suddenly profile as ”straight”)….

Our intelligence also indicates that the massive trafficking of ”straights” (there are now more non-kuchus than kuchus in the process) is not just the enterprise of a few unscrupulous individuals, but is being actively sponsored by we-know-who in Kampala, partly to discredit those who are in the process as purely being ”economic migrants”. The last batch of 76 fake Kuchus who turned up at the UN two weeks ago had all been ”coached” with the same story of ”persecution” and were quick to say so.

It is disturbing that now even very genuine cases of Kuchu persecution in Kampala, involving torture, violence and imprisonment (with documentary evidence) are now doubted; registration is closed and financial assistance withheld from all Ugandans.

The Ugandans tried and gave up. The UN is a law unto itself -deaf beyond words. Some of the staff, mostly the Kenyans, are either homophobic or Uganda-phobic or both, though special training was given to them for this batch of asylum seekers. …

People traffickers infiltrate LGBTI asylum program in Kenya 1

Yours truly hinted at it recently, and now Eric Mawira Gitari has, too. Kuchu Times of Uganda carried a report alluding to it last month.

Scores of (mostly) boys and girls from Uganda are heading to Nairobi, lured there by promises that the UNHCR (the United Nations refugee agency)  will relocate them to yonder climes such as Norway, Canada and the United States if they claim gay persecution.

Eric Mawira Gitari summarizes the problem

Eric Mawira Gitari summarizes the problem

Needless to say, this has spawned a people trafficking and prostitution industry that now threatens to derail the entire humanitarian mission. One gathers that the exodus from Uganda to Kenya to claim asylum on account of ‘gay persecution’ has became a torrent with new arrivals overwhelming the UNHCR.

What seems to have tipped the balance was the gradual realization by the UN staffers that a lot of new arrivals’ tales of woe were not adding up even when they were not eerily similar. Someone was coaching the claimants.

When potential refugee claimants from Uganda and elsewhere arrived in Kenya to claim LGBTI asylum, they narrated their stories on which acceptance of their claims would be based. Then the UN provided some money for basic subsistence and the wait would begin. Some of the claimants ended up in refugee camps in Northern Kenya which have also been criticized for being harsh and uninhabitable by some of those housed there, but a number stayed around Nairobi, largely idle.

But what has caused most concern, and seems to have finally made the UN plug the spigot, were the reports  of boys that had claimed asylum engaging in prostitution, willingly and under duress. Then there were stories of refugee claimants throwing loud, drunken parties that got the attention of the police owing to their boisterousness. Questions were raised as to how they could afford these junkets when they were supposed to be poor and downtrodden.

Not to put too fine a point on it but the reality is that some of the boys who have run off to claim asylum in Kenya were misled into thinking that the process was easy and relocation to the West was automatic. A number thus abandoned reasonably promising employment pursuits in Uganda and are now languishing in hovels around Nairobi, with no medical care, limited funds and no guarantee that their claims will be accepted.

In the meantime, their numbers have swelled to a such a level, especially in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, that the Kenyan nationals are themselves noticing them, and taking a dim view of their shenanigans.

With the UN reportedly suspending the registration of new-comers in order to streamline the process and make sure it isn’t being abused, life should get tougher for those already in Kenya even if they have a guarantee of being accepted for relocation to the West which they don’t.

The irony of course is that many of the asylum claimants from Uganda ran away from their country where no one was really after them on account of their sexuality, and have ended up in dire conditions in Kenya, with no support systems whatever, leading to their being taken advantage of due to their sexuality.

Your truly is not in the business of giving advice to adults but when one weighs the advantages and disadvantages of the process many of the Ugandan claimants have opted for, it seems relatively easy to realize what the best course of action should be for them.

But of course many of them have, to quote from Macbeth “stepped in so far that should wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er.” They have already committed too much to return home.

They’d better fasten their belts as it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Gay Justice 6- Anti-gay Foolishness 1

Had it been an amateur tennis match, the 6-1 scoreline would have been really bad.

As it were, the 6-1 result we have from the Ugandan courts on the high stakes gay issues lies in the realms of mortifying – if the opponents on the other side had any sense of embarrassment whatever.

The drubbing started in December 2006 when Justice Stella Arach ruled in favor of Victor Mukasa/Oyo in their suit against the Government of Uganda for abuse of their human rights. $7,000 was awarded. Since then, the pro-gay side has won legal skirmish after legal skirmish, losing just one to Minister Lokodo when they sued him for disrupting an LGBTI meeting in Entebbe.

But since that loss, however, Uganda’s constitutional court nullified the Anti-gay law Museveni had signed barely six months earlier on procedural grounds. That was a 6-0 drubbing all by itself.

More recently, Samuel Ganafa walked free after the case against him, alleging HIV homo-sodomy, collapsed. Hot on the heels of that great news, two men, Jackson Mukasa and Kim Mukisa, who had been arrested and humiliated by law enforcement also walked free when the state failed to make a case for arresting them.

The anti-gay side is in total disarray, they have lost allies all the way up to the Vatican, and continue to bleed support everywhere they turn. Only a couple of days ago, the states in the USA where gay marriage is legal rose to 30. 30 out of 50 states is a majority in whatever way you look at it.

And now Uganda’s political campaigns have started in all but name, relegating what people do in their privacy of their bedrooms to irrelevance. The anti-gay law will not be returned to Parliament if Uganda’s president has his way, which he likely will.

It might sound odd to anyone who doesn’t live the gay lives we are living in Uganda, but it is a rather good time to be fighting in the Ugandan courts for gay rights right now. It really is. To anyone wishing to pursue the anti-gay crusade through Uganda’s courts, it’s an excellent time to ask them to bring it on!

One feels like whistling a Queen song  …

I’ve taken my bows/And my curtain calls/You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it/I thank you all/But it’s been no bed of roses/No pleasure cruise/I consider it a challenge before the whole human race/And I ain’t gonna lose.

We are the champions my friends/And we’ll keep on fighting till the end/ We are the champions/We are the champions/No time for losers/Cause we’re the champions … Of the world.

Uganda’s Constitutional Court nullifies anti-gay law 4

It’s going to have to be back to the drawing board for Uganda’s reliably dim legislators.

In a unanimous decision, the Constitutional Court of Uganda has nullified the anti-gay law passed by Parliament in December 2013 and signed into law February 2014.

Asked by petitioners to nullify the law because Parliament passed it without a quorum, the court agreed that it was passed without the required number of legislators in attendance and so couldn’t stand. The result today represents, yet again, a wonderful insight into the independence of Uganda’s judiciary.

This is the fourth time, in my recollection, the legal process in Uganda has favored the pro-gay side in the last 6 or so years. I am aware of only one ruling that has gone the side of the anti-gay side, recently when Minister Lokodo was sued for stopping a gay workshop. 4-1 is, however, a very healthy record that, no doubt, the pro-gay lobby in Uganda should relish.

What does it all really mean?

It was a very brave panel to scupper the proceedings at this stage, something I must admit I didn’t think the judges would do.

Why so?

This case is really about whether Parliament can single out a section of the population [gay people] to criminalize and stigmatize while implicitly and explicitly overlooking every other member of society [straight people] who are capable of committing the same actions the pilloried members of society have been criminalized for. That would be a violation of the constitutional right to equal protection and that is the area that the judges must eventually pronounce themselves on to kill off this law for good.

While that decision has now been put off, the judges must be doubly applauded because it cannot have been lost on them that the political implications of their decisions were stark. They have nonetheless throttled the law passed based on the flouting of Parliamentary rules, leaving Uganda’s Parliamentarians looking like the foolish, impetuous, thoughtless turncoats they have made a habit of being.

Rebecca Kadaga, the wannabe president of Uganda, who tried to use the Nazi bill to get one up on her rival for the presidency, Amama Mbabazi, has ended up with egg on her face, especially since she is a lawyer and has been embarrassed for her lack of legal acumen when she let the Nazi anti-gay bill through Parliament on her watch.

The president, Yoweri Museveni, will now argue that the law has been killed because of what he referred to in January as ‘abnormal, spinster’ Kadaga’s failure to cross her tees and dot her eyes. He gets to come out looking clean even though it will not be lost on perceptive minds that he excoriated Parliament for passing the bill without a quorum and then he went ahead to sign it anyway.

This Constitutional decision, however, does keep the door open for a new bill to be drafted and re-presented to Parliament so it doesn’t necessarily mean that the war has been won. No, it now remains to be seen if the losing side can regroup to fight another day. The odds for them, however, are getting longer and longer, with every legal defeat and they would know it if they were astute enough.

They likely are not, sadly.

If I were to put in my two pennies’ worth, lawyers now need to trawl through all the laws that have been passed without a quorum and lodge them with the Constitutional Court. By the time the learned judges got through all those, Uganda’s parliament would have no laws left on the books. And then we should see how important they feel their Nazi anti-gay crusade really is to their existence and that of the country that they would attempt to bring another kill-the-gays bill back in haste.

For now, it’s bottoms up possums. Your truly needs a chandelier to hang on to while singing “I am what I am …”

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

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.

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!!!


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!!