Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A PM called to account. Kenya.


I have been negligent. Sorry. Just happens that sometimes I get too caught up in some things. Like earning daily bread....!

But, I have been following from afar the debate in Kenya. It is kind of refreshing. Very, for a Ugandan. Not very long ago, we Ugandans thought of Kenya as the country with the more repressive environment. Politically, and with regards to freedom of speech. Those were the days of Moi. But, it seems they have very vigorously embraced the freedom to say what they want. And, they are doing so, with a pride and vociferousness which warms the heart.

Have been following the faux pas by the Prime Minister. Cant believe that people are calling his bluff in the press. Openly, candidly, and laying out their reasons with a fearlessness that is amazing, for me in Uganda. We cannot do this, even when people call on us to be hanged. No, we cannot. Infact, pastors lead demonstrations to court to protest our defence of the right to the dignity of human beings.... We are criminals.

No. Our Kenyan brothers are not that.

The careless and highly inflammatory remarks about homosexuals made by Prime Minister Raila Odinga have understandably led to outrage among civil society and gay rights activists in Kenya and in the Diaspora.

At a public rally at Kibera, the Prime Minister ordered the arrest of all gay couples in the country because "it is madness for a man to fall in love with another man while there are plenty of women (in Kenya)" and "there is no need for women to engage in lesbianism when they can bear children".

Raila further stated that the new Constitution forbids same sex relationships (which is not true — while the Constitution forbids same sex marriage, it is silent about same sex relationships).

Raila owes Kenyans an apology, and not denials. And, a psychiatrist gets so railed that he actually gets pen to paper and writes an op-ed. Gosh, I am invigorated by such statements... The vigorous defence. Is this happening in Africa? Is it the next President of Kenya that is being called to book? Yes, it is. And, he is retracting, and back tracking, and being a buffoon about it.... He said the words. And, he was telling his constituents, who believe in him like they believe in a demi-god. And, it was okay for him to say that there. But not for the press to get his words and show the whole world what he did say....!

We cannot deny the power of his words. I mean, his constituents could have taken this as carte blanche to go ahead and attack gay Kenyans. Thankfully, they didnt then. But, it is important that this does not happen again. Raila richly deserves his lambasting. And, for the good of all Kenyans, and gay Kenyans in particular, it is important because he will control his tongue next time... Because, there will certainly be a next time. He is an important leader.

Hope your day has been good.

Mine has. Be well


1 comment:

Karen said...

Totally off topic for this post, but I am watching Rachel Maddow interview David Bahati right now. He really does believe this crap he is spewing???

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