Connect with us

The Anti-gay Law, Not A Scapegoat For The NRM’s Shortcomings- Opinion


The Anti-gay Law, Not A Scapegoat For The NRM’s Shortcomings- Opinion

By Godwin Muwanguzi

One of the advantages of having an ignorant population is you can easily manipulate them into embracing your flaws. Certainly, Ugandan politicians pride themselves in governing such an easy lot—foolish countrymen and women who are uninformed. For months now, Uganda, a cow whose milkers call “The Pearl of Africa”, but which undoubtedly any intelligent person would disregard or refer to as “The Pearl of inequity”, has indulged herself in a human rights war against the evolved world.

It all started as an earthquake, with little rumbling and noise from the excited children peeping through their mothers’ windows, and developed into something scarier—a threat to the Uganda gay community which as of now lives in fear of being crunched by the sharp law.

On 9th May, 2023, Hon Asuman Basalirwa, a legislator of Bugiri Municipality, presented an anti-homosexuality bill with the intention of protecting what he defined as a “traditional family” from any form of sexual relations from individuals of the same sex. If you asked me if homosexuality was the country’s most pressing problem, the answer would be no.

It was not so long before a clique of moralists rose among different politicians and religious leaders and demanded the government to ban the rainbow from all children’s camps and playgrounds with a justification that its colours symbolised the gay community. This was successful.

The harsh bill was a cocked gun, which someone only needed to pull the trigger—Hon Asuman Basalirwa pulled it. It was even worse for individuals, including a few legislators who openly stood against the bill—the speaker of parliament, Rt Hon Anita Among, confronted and accused them of being gay. How unfortunate!

Even though our Constitution has been raped by the government on several occasions, we continue to remind them about what it says rest assured they will flout it. According to Article 20(1) and (2) of the Uganda Constitution, fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual are inherent and not granted by the State and thus, they shall be respected, upheld and promoted by all organs and agencies of Government and by all persons.

So, legislators discussing the anti-gay bill whatsoever jeopardises Articles 20(1) and (2). It infringes the rights of the minority—the bill tells us that we ought not to decide for ourselves, but follow a prescribed set of rules installed by a few powerful individuals—this is another form of dictatorship.

On 29th May, the President of Uganda, H.E Museveni, assented to the anti-gay bill 2023, which now becomes the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023, causing uproar from different human rights activists and organisations, who think it is the world’s toughest anti-LGBTQ law. The perpetrators face life imprisonment and the death penalty for aggravated cases such as having gay sex with minors and infecting them with a long-life illness including HIV.

According to three of the world’s leading health campaign groups—Pepfar, UNAids and the Global Fund, the harmful legislation as described in their joint statement, endangers Uganda’s progress on its HIV response and that the stigma and discrimination associated with the Anti-Gay Act reduces access to prevention and treatment services.

It is laughable that the bill becomes effective and a matter of national importance at a time when Uganda is in shambles—when it feebly kicks and slouches toward its death. We discuss gayness on the basis of values yet our political system is in abyss decay. Thousands of political prisoners rot in dungeons without charge or trial and gunmen continue to kill Ugandans without tracing them down.

Not only that, we have pertinent issues like child and maternal mortality rates which are very high in Uganda; 90 under-five child deaths per 10,000 live births. Among children under five, more than a third are stunted and undernutrition contributes to four in ten deaths. Sadly, these deaths are caused by preventable diseases such as pneumonia, Malaria and diarrhoea which are a result of ineffective service delivery. All this doesn’t matter, and we don’t want to know.

A few days ago, our brothers and Peacemakers in Somalia lost lives. These are men with families that should be supported amidst trials and tribulations, but rather our focus is on homosexuality, not their loss and we proudly boast about values. Many politicians have raped helpless women, and no one speaks about it. As of now, commercial sex in Uganda has reached its climax—people are jobless and the standards of living are soaring, so they resort to selling their bodies; what do we say about it? Nothing.

The Speaker says the Act intends to “protect the sanctity of the family” ignoring the fact that there is no difference between her and the gay people. She and her counterparts diverted the iron sheets meant for the people of Karamoja and found their way around the sleepy law. On several occasions, she has shunned looking into the exorbitant budgets of the President which continue to affect the country, but she has the audacity to discuss values—impudence.

The bill besides slicing the hearts of different human rights activists, is a confirmation to the world that Uganda is nothing but a house of idiots who ignore the most pressing issues and focus on the less pertinent. The question in everyone’s mind should be why our leaders overwhelmingly fight against homosexuality, a matter of choice, which utmost, remains a private affair but ignore what would benefit every Ugandan.

Therefore, the anti-homosexuality act, should not be a scapegoat for the NRM’s shortcomings. Let them use the same energy to punish the mabaati thieves, condemn and bring the CMI operatives who scavenge on Ugandans to book: let us use the same energy to punish the first son, who continues to defy the army code of conduct as he actively engages in partisan politics while still a serving soldier. I urge the parliament to stand in the same solidarity to condemn whoever kidnaps citizens and later arraigns them in court for supporting a different political party—it is criminal.

Whereas our parliament is a den of fools, let us rethink and use the same energy to discuss the state of our hospitals and roads and the many corruption scandals, among other atrocities. Otherwise, the bill is not enough to conceal your thirty-eight-year failures and none of you is enough to discuss values with all the mess you have put the country in.


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Opinion


Advertisement Enter ad code here
To Top