Monday, November 12, 2007

Nsaba Buturo’s Change of mind

Saturday was a beautiful day. Yet there was something in the New Vision which lifted my mood and made me want to sing the whole day.

There was this article, which I am lifting whole from the paper.

UNBELIEVABLE! These could be the only kind words from the ethics and integrity state minister, Dr. James Nsaba Buturo, to homosexuals.

He has come across as anti-gay on many occasions, prompting the gay-rights activists to push for his blacklisting. They were claiming that Buturo was violating the human rights of some citizens and peddling homo-phobia.

Could this be the reason why he is now singing a different tune? Buturo has criticised medical practitioners who discriminate against homosexuals living with HIV/AIDS. He said that although the Constitution does not condone homosexuality, they should not be denied medical facilities.

“I condemn medical practitioners who deny Anti-retro-viral drugs to gays. No one wants to acquire HIV/AIDS. All human beings are equal before God,” Buturo said in an interview on Monday.

Dr James Nsaba Buturo. A PhD in economics, I believe. A Christian who is fundamentalist. He has not been kind to us ‘homos’ as he calls us.

I do welcome even this small change in his mind. I don’t know how genuine it is. Is it? I do not know. The things that he has said and done in the name of ‘resisting homosexuality’ are many.

In 2004, as State Minister for Information, and official government spokesperson, he held a press conference and informed the country that he had learnt of a despicable plot to promote homosexuality in the country, in the guise of preventing HIV, and it was being promoted by UNAIDS. His words were very unkind. UNAIDS being a diplomatic institution, was sent a strongly worded protest note. The then Country Representative of UNAIDS was ‘relocated’ to some other country.

Since that time, no NGO dared to touch HIV prevention amongst gays in the country. If the UNAIDS Country Rep was not immune, then who was immune to the government’s wrath?

The things that Mr Buturo has said in the previous 3 months since the press conference have been incredible venom. He wondered how on earth we could have held a press conference when we were ‘illegal’, what was the police doing? He repeatedly said that he knew us and was ready to move on us. He went to the demonstration against homosexuality as the government representative. Homosexuality was against 3 laws, that of god, the country, and morality? He told us to migrate out of the country. That we were unacceptable. We have no rights according to him.

The vitriol flowed, the venom envenomed the debate. Some of the people who would have supported him were really surprised. It was too much hate in the name of love.

I called him a homophobe. A person with an irrational hate or fear of homosexuality. I just cannot understand why he hates me so much when he does not really know me. Human Rights Watch attacked the government, saying that it was sponsoring Homophobia.

That was hardly three months ago.

And suddenly, his tune has changed. The news editor found it unbelievable. I did too. Why? Why of a sudden does he find that we are human beings? Why does he of a sudden find that we do deserve treatment at the hospitals? Why is he blaming doctors now? How come he finds that no one, (not even homosexuals), deserves to get HIV?

Of course what he said was mainly political. I have not heard of any doctors denying us treatment. But I know that he is one of the major reasons why we still have no national programme to prevent HIV amongst Kuchus in Uganda.

It was a brilliant day, Saturday. A very beautiful day, inside and out.


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