Thursday, February 24, 2011

This was yesterday

Interesting day, to say the least.

Public holiday. For the elections. But, seems that most people in Kampala didnt hear that.... but, they knew that there would be elections. So, security fears kept many off the streets.

And, wow, what an election. Ballot stuffing for the ruling party's mayoral candidate. He is a Pastor Peter Ssematimba. And, you know the irony, I like him. The dude has proven effective, and that to me was more important than anything else.
Anyway, before I could go off and vote, first came the media reports, of ballot box stuffing. For him. The reports became more and more numerous. Where the hell did they get the ballots, for goodness's sake? Who did this? And how could such a widespread and co-ordinated thing happen?

Hey, this is Uganda. And, we are talking about the ruling party.

Anyway, the police have this knack of arresting anyone who reports a problem with the voting. So, the opposition took advantage of the media presence. By midday, the reports on TV and fm radio were so many, and so diverse, that the credibility of the poll was in question. So, the Commission canceled the elections for Mayor of Kampala.

Sad. I hadnt yet voted...... LOL...!

The US has congratulated the President on winning re-election...... Tut tut tut.... sometimes diplomacy demands too many things of nations. Just hope it will be fine.

So, I went into town. Found many shops closed, but, I had promised myself to do some long standing thing. A promise to my mom-in-law. I had enlisted the help of her son, who was delirious with happiness. No, that is something. I have done it. Yesterday, it was my mom. Today, my mom in law. I will not see her smile, but, am sure she will be happy. And, what did I do? Surely, surely, you do not want me to spoil the suprise? Some son-in-lawish thing. Hey, she was the first to know, the first to accept us. She is my mom, too.
News of Libya is keeping me off the international channels. I hate it. Simply.... it is just too, can we say, obscene, for a leader to so openly kill his own people, and justify it as....

Oh, well. We have a saying in Uganda. That is Uganda for you. It seems to justify any and all things obsene, taken for granted. But, it is not ok. That is not Uganda, or any country. That is not Libya, or Africa. We can do better. We have to believe that we can.

I have been reading this article, 'An Obscene Piety', that seeks to highlight the signs of religion gone bad. I am sure the people, the religious leaders in Uganda will not agree.
Few things are more vulgar or indecent than violence masked as piety. From the crucifixion of Christ to martyrdom of saints, from burning innocent women at the stake to Klan crosses in front lawns, we know in our hearts when religion has gone bad.

Our Pentecostal Ministers in Uganda look with awe to the American leaders of the Right. To them, this New Fundamentalism typifies what is good and holy. I like it. I love its call to thought, because, indeed it is. There has been a call to an Obscenity of Piety, which people have heeded. It is time it was looked at from another angle. Here is the article again.

LOL, people have been asking me whether a Ugandan witchdoctor can ungay one..... LOL. Scott Miles reports that he is still gay. So, the answer is no? Well, the Pastors believe they can do it. Send the question to Ssempa, or Male. They are very voluble on the subject.


And, since I am posting this today, I should add to it, not so?

Yes. Has been a long day. Went to work, but spent deal of time out, trying to do some things which just needed to be done. But, managed to accomplish a lot.

Which is good. Because otherwise I would not feel good at all about the day.....

But, back to the web browsing. The election chaos of yesterday were in the papers. Good. That kind of stupidity needs to widely shown for what it is. Disgusting, and egg on the face for many people. Of course, I dont think that the concerned will learn. Or, the lesson will be that the cheating must not be discovered....

Here is the government paper article. Of course, the Monitor gives a fuller account..... as expected.

But, that is an aside. Our lives, interrupted by 'elections'. Seems as if their only use is to legitimise the government. And, well, the opposition was not about to be part of it.

Sigh. Uganda.

But, why not go back to gay issues.

I am feeling good, at home. Hope your day has been ok.

Be well


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What does it mean to be Gay in Uganda?

I rarely put my thoughts in a summary....

No. This is not a summary. Here is an article that I wrote for the Mantle. And, it is not short. Kind of feels funny, now that I read what I wrote.

Go ahead. Go and read it. An excerpt.

What Does It Mean to Be Gay in Uganda?

By Gay Uganda

What does it mean to be gay in Uganda?
It is a tough question because I have never known a different life. I am a gay man, born in Uganda, an African. It is all that I have known; it is my identity. I am African, a Ugandan, and I am gay, my secret identity—the one that has to be hidden from the rest of my countrymen.
We call ourselves kuchus, a neutral, all inclusive word. It is an identity that is ours, separate from the vileness and abuse thrown at us. We are kuchus, all of us, gay and transgender Ugandans, although life tends to be harder for my transgender friends.
Of course it goes on.....!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gay Believers.... Islam, Christianity

We recently had an election. For a President that had been elected by a majority of 68%, the silence on the streets of Kampala was, to say the least, deafening....

Maybe it was the 'security' that stopped people from rejoicing as they should have?....[shake of the head.]

Anyway, maybe Ugandans only celebrate the win of the president when there are cameras around..... Sorry, I am still trying to figure out the apparent incongruency.

Ok. Let me deal with another matter. The atmosphere of homophobia in the country, in Uganda. Now, a caveat, I am a gay Ugandan. I have grown up here. So, what is 'abnormal' for me, would be a lack of homophobia... maybe.
I have been following some of the reaction to the BBC documentary, 'The Worst Place to be Gay', and, here is one of the comments that struck me. From a person who is a Christian, and, is admittedly not gay friendly, from their own admission.

I watched a documentary the other night about homosexuality in Uganda.  Nearly everyone who was interviewed said that they should, at they very least, be put in prison.Many Christians and Ministers said they should be killed.
Whilst I do not agree with the 'act', I was horrified that so many so-called s have them put to death.
Did anyone else see this programme?
Well, as a matter of fact, I have not 'seen' that programme. But, I live it on a day to day basis.... it has sort of become invisible, you understand? And, I thought that that is the official position of all Christians?

LOL, I am having some fun with the commentary. I mean, that is normal in my part of the world. But, it is distressing to other Christians. Some time ago, that would have been a chance to go Christian bashing. Well, now I at least know that Christians are not all like Pastor Dr. Martin 'eat da poo poo' Ssempa.

But, Christians, you will have to stand up and say that you are not like so....... !

Religion.... Ok, fact is, I decided to stand on the fence, with regards to religion. Safer to think that way. But, because so many of my friends, going through the same issues as me are so much in love with faith, (and the fact that, I cannot but acknowledge that even gay people have a spiritual desire and need), I have resigned myself to having to seek out a compromise. Even when there are those ready to bash me because of my sexuality.
They say that I cannot be spiritual, or religious, because of my sexuality.

Not so, some other gay people say. Here is the inspiring testimony of the Pink Imam

South African Muhsin Hendricks is an Islamic cleric and a gay man.
He runs a foundation called The Inner Circle, which helps Muslims, who are struggling to accept their sexuality. He has come to the Netherlands to spread a simple message: “It’s okay to be Muslim and gay!”
It’s a message not everyone agrees with and the reason why Mr Hendricks is no longer officially a cleric.
Muhsin Hendricks looks a little tired. He is in the Netherlands at the invitation of the Amsterdam branch of gay rights organisation COC and he’s on a punishing schedule. There is enormous public interest in the “pink imam”, as he’s been dubbed.
But every trace of fatigue vanishes as Mushin Hendricks talks about his faith and his sexuality.
“Being Muslim and being gay are both strong identities. And I think that they are both innate identities for me. So somewhere along the line I had to reconcile the two.”
This was far from easy for Muhsin Hendricks. He was born into an orthodox Muslim family in South Africa. His grandfather was a cleric in one of Cape Town’s most prominent mosques. Mushin discovered at an early age that he was different. He played with dolls rather than cars. He was seen as being feminine and was teased as a result. All this was long before he even knew there was such a thing as homosexuality

That testimony energises me. Positively. Yes, it does. Here is a man who is going against the current, and swimming strongly. You go, Man, you go! Read it to the full. It is beautiful.

And, talking of gay Moslems, here is how one loving couple in Britain dealt with their problem. Yes, we are gay, but, that does not stop us from being spiritual.

"We met about three years ago, at an iftar - a breaking of fast during Ramadan.
"I think a lot of Muslims find that time of year very spiritual and very enlightening, and so I think that's why our relationship developed, because we spoke about our faith."
"Eventually we went on a date."
Asra recalls the first time she met her partner, Sarah, three years ago. The gay couple, who are also Muslim, are one of a growing number of gay, British Muslims who have cemented their relationship with marriage - Islamic marriage.
Asra fondly remembers the moment Sarah proposed to her.
"After the first date, which was about an hour, Sarah casually asked me to marry her."
Sarah interjects.
"I think it was more like four hours, after dinner, coffee and walking. I didn't really plan it, but it just really seemed like the way it was between us, I should try and keep it as pure as possible.
"That may sound strange being lesbians, but it felt like we should do it the most honourable way we could."
The Muslim way
Asra and Sarah decided upon a 'nikah' - a Muslim matrimonial contract. Whilst nikahs have traditionally been the reserve of heterosexual Muslims, Asra and Sarah were aware that other gay Muslims had followed this route and the couple decided to investigate further.
It's still very difficult for me to tell my family about my life being a lesbian. They know I am a believer, they know I am religious, but going as far as saying I am a lesbian is quite hard”
"A few friends said you don't really have to have an official Imam, but you need someone who is knowledgeable enough about the Qur'an to do it. Fortunately, one of our friends was, and she offered to do it. She's a lesbian herself, and she said we could do it in her home."
Three months after the proposal, the big day came. Asra wore a white shalwar kameez - a traditional Pakistani outfit - and Sarah a pink dress.
"I wanted to wear leather, but Asra wouldn't let me," she sighs

I love this testimony. I really, really love it. It speaks to me.

We are, and will always remain, very ordinary people. The fact that we are gay does not change our very ordinariness. The thirst for faith is something that makes us similar to every other Jack, Dick and Harry. We are just too ordinary.

But, we have to rise above being ordinary. In the face of opposition from all those around us, we have to come face to face with who we are, accept ourselves, and then rise above that to be completely whole, as believing humans.

No. I am not revising my personal 'no faith' position. But, I am deeply impressed by the courage which we can find in our ordinariness. In embracing that which we are.

And, you know what? We continue to shame those who will demonise us........ Because we shall remain very ordinary, and extraordinary because we are so.

You go, People!


Sunday, February 20, 2011


Courage. Being brave.

Been on my mind. Thinking of David Kato, going to give a speech about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. A sheep amongst the acknowledged lions of the place. I mean, that was courage. Real courage.

Kato, walking into the Lion's Den, literally to beard the lion.

Of course I knew of the consultative meeting. A group of kuchu leaders determined to go. My partner was among them. And, David Kato was elected to do the necessary. Delivering the speech. The only counter to the rest of the homophobic..... It was supposed to be a dialogue, actually. It was actually something for Ugandans to showcase their homophobia. And, that is what we expected. Of course, including Pastor Dr Martin 'eat da poo poo' showing off his slides of (in his opinion) delectable gay porn..... [I swear the man must be a closet homosexual!!!!!!]

So, what did it cost David Kato to go there, to give his speech, however nervous, fearful, he was? I do not know. What I know is that, I dont think horses would have pulled me to that podium. But, David did it.
Bahati's late arrival delayed the event for more than an hour, and the UHRC failed to seat any representative of those opposed to the legislation at the head table, despite seating Bahati and - for unexplained reasons - Uganda's most outspoken anti-gay activist Martin Ssempa. A comment by an audience member later prompted the UHRC to correct this imbalance by inviting a clearly hesitant and nervous SMUG leader, David Kato, to sit beside Ssempa on the dais. Ssempa proceeded to shake Kato's hand while striking absurd poses for the assembled press corps.
LOL. Bahati is always tardy. Big man, he expects others to wait for him. The Uganda Human Rights Commission? Well, once upon a time, they would not dare touch us. They were clearly not ready to defend us, despite the monstrocity that that bill is. But, that is our Uganda.

So, it is just what was expected. Including the humiliation of David by Pastor Ssempa. These things are the usual. What we expect, on a day to day basis. So, what happened.

The usual Bahati, with his tirade. Ssempa spitting. Must have been spitting. I know, this diplomatic double speech is sometimes too concealing. But, that was the usual Ssempa, man of god. Spitting when us disgusting sinners were mentioned, at any fora.
Ssempa registered his support by issuing audible sounds of disgust. 
And, against this background, as the only person acknowledged as a homosexual, David Kato stands up to deliver his speech.
Kato delivered a well-written speech defending the rights of gay and lesbians in Uganda. However, his words were nearly indecipherable due to his evident nervousness. Throughout Kato's speech, XXXXXXXXXXXX UHRCXXXXXXXXXXXX openly joked and snickered with Bahati and Ssempa XXXXXXXXXXXX. XXXXXXXXXXXX representatives left shortly after Kato's speech, fearing that Bahati had instructed the Inspector General of Police to arrest Kato. After a break, Ssempa showed graphic x-rated photos of what he described as gay sex, and several audience members rose to ask why authorities did not arrest Ugandan homosexuals when they had the chance. 
Forget the 'well written'. That was done in the confort and safety of his room. He was nervous. During his speech, which was almost inaudible, the lions laughed and feasted on the sight of this rabbit. The supposed ally, from Uganda Human Rights Commission, openly joked and snickered with Ssempa and Bahati.

So, what happens?

He finishes the speech. Which, of course is heard by no one. And, prudently, decides to retire.

Very good for him. I would not want to see bad gay porn, with Ssempa's nice commentary in the background.

What was our theme again? Courage. Bravery.

David Kato had it in spades. I cannot say that I do, hell, I will not say that I do. Because I dont! My courage is usually fuelled by anger, and recklessness. Then, I can do anything. But, in deliberate cold blood..... LOL!

David did it. He was a loose cannon, in more than one way. But, the one thing that he did not lack was courage. Courage to do something, even when he was evidently very afraid. As he was at that time. I know David and the others did not stay for the rest of the proceedings. His were lessons in courage for many of us.

Yeah, we do miss you, David.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Post Election Day

I am bored. By all this election furore.

Was it the last election when the Monitor radio signal was blocked, and the website taken off air, for announcing results which were significantly different from the 'official' ones? Well, this election, Kampala feels like a city under siege, with combat troops on every street corner, guns ready. Actually, I was through the city. It was closed. Literally. People expected violence, which did not materialise. Praise the deities.

The media houses are disciplined. Of course, we are fearing to text things like Mubarak, Egypt, and people power. We are all glued to the TVs and radio stations, which are confidently declaring the same narative. The return of the incumbent. Sweeping wins by the ruling party. The President is winning with more than 70% of the vote. The city is in virtual lockdown with troops on every street corner. The ruling party is on course to take a 3/4 constitution changing majority in parliament.

Now, I am a rebel. I do rebel at such control. And, I am taking this one shot at daring to do what is 'forbidden'. Of course, the short text below is not going to come from my phone, since it would be interecepted. And, I might spend the night in prison. FYI, my neighbour, the one who went to the police to testify to an incident of ballot box stuffing (well, he saw the incident, someone stuffing the box for the candidate for the ruling party), the dude ended up staying the night as a guest of the state. And, he is still there. Poor dude. The police do have their orders!

So, my short text. Of innocent words.

Remember Egypt. Remember Mubarak. At the last election in Egypt, then President Mubarak swept the polls with 83% of the vote. What a fantastic achievement.

With that, I end my political commentary. ---------

I love real experimentation at democracy. That system of governance which tries to take into account the will of the people. Of course, democracy, like any ideal, can be corrupted. Remember the referendums in Saddam's Iraq, when he used to win more than 99.9% of the votes? Wonderful, wasnt it?

What I was actually talking about is that the will of the people, and the wishes of the individual, especially the minority, may contrast and clash. Here is a compromise that happened in the US.
The issue was what the 'conscience' of a person may allow them to do, and not to do. The Bush administration thought that conscience is so important that people should be allowed their right to conscience. To discriminate.
I know. I am wary of such reasoning. Because, even my own sister will not come to my celebration of 10 years in love with my man. Her conscience does not allow her.
Put such a thing into the law- as the Bush administration did, and funny things can happen.

After two years of struggling to balance the rights of patients against the beliefs of health-care workers, the Obama administration on Friday finally rescinded most of a federal regulation designed to protect those who refuse to provide care they find objectionable on moral or religious grounds.
The decision guts one of President George W. Bush's most controversial legacies: a rule that was widely interpreted as shielding workers who refuse to participate in a range of medical services, such as providing birth control pills, caring for gay men with AIDS and performing in-vitro fertilization for lesbians or single women.
Friday's move was seen as an important step in countering that trend, which in recent years had led pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for the emergency contraceptive Plan B, doctors in California to reject a lesbian's request for infertility treatment, and an ambulance driver in Chicago to turn away a woman who needed transportation for an abortion.
"Without the rescission of this regulation, we would see tremendous discrimination against patients based on their behavior and based just on who they are," said Susan Berke Fogel of the National Health Law Program, an advocacy group based in the District. "We would see real people suffer, and more women could die."
The new rule leaves intact only long-standing "conscience" protections for doctors and nurses who do not want to perform abortions or sterilizations. It also retains the process for allowing health workers whose rights are violated to file complaints.
Gosh. That thing makes me cringe. I mean, I am a member of a minority that is despised. In Uganda, you just have to look at images of Pastor Dr. Martin Ssempa spitting in disgust at the mention of us poo poo eaters, for you to understand what that is about. People hate us, just because we are so.

Someone, anonymous, but most likely Ugandan, commented on this blog that they would dare to 'hurt a gay' person because they hate us. That is what the conscience of a mainstream Christian in Uganda tells them. What of denying me a life saving service, because in their conscience, I am a sinner not worth saving? I cringe.

Yes, democracy is good. But, take the huge pinch of salt. Democracy has to be balanced by a robust bill of individual rights. Else us minorities have no place in the world of the majority.

There are some small things which we can consider as huge things. In the personal sphere. You know that Uganda, way back in 1995 enacted a constitutional ammendment banning gay marriage? Well, we were the very first country in the world to do so, using the ruling party's then overwhelming majority in the parliament.

Well. I have been with my partner for ten years.... Yes, I have! And, we are gay. In Uganda. LOL.

Anyway, our relationship cannot be nothing but private. Too dangerous to publish it- but, kuchus know us. And, sometimes, I am embarassed when a friend of ours who is not kuchu finally finds out and they are like, What?! Hey, we cannot go around saying that we are gay, and partners, okay?

Now, we are on facebook. LOL....! And, apparently, I can now say that I am a 'Civil union'. You see, according to the laws of Uganda, we can have a 'common law marriage' after six months, I believe..... Oh, no... it is forbidden by the constitution because we are of the same sex..... LOL.

But, facebook, king of the online world, has gracefully extended acknowledgement of my marital status. So, I am going ahead to update it... Just now!
Now, when you log on to Facebook and edit your profile, you will see "In a civil union" and "In a domestic partnership" on the list of relationship statuses. The president of Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Jarrett Barrios, wrote in a statement, which was noted in a CNN editorial, "By acknowledging the relationships of countless loving and committed same-sex couples in the U.S. and abroad, Facebook has set a new standard of inclusion for social media."
I have been there. And, apparently the change has not been effected as yet. Dont worry, Mr Facebook. I am willing to wait a little bit more....! As long as you do it, thanks!
Sigh.... Seems I cannot dodge news and speculation of David Kato on the net. OK. I do have to walk through it. But, you know, like an ache that you sometimes wish you could maybe let go, for some little time? Sorry brother, it still hurts. But, maybe it should. Reminds me that I am human. When I am cut, I hurt.
But, when I think of you forced to shake Martin 'eat da poo poo' Ssempa's hand for the media, I swear I remind myself of my resolve never, ever to do such a thing. For Ssempa. Buturo. Bahati. Male. Never.

But, wise men say never say never. But, NEVER. No. the dudes hate me. For Bahati, I would just have to say that I am a gay person. He would loathe that. For Ssempa, maybe I would spit in my hand first, before giving it to him....

OK. I do get that, maybe our campaign was maybe too pushy? Hell, it was my life on line. Thanks dudes, from outside the country, for pushing that hard for me. I did ask you to push your governments. You did push, and we were lucky, it was stalled. you answered our desperation. Thanks for that.

I will end my surf here. Have been warned of being over garrulous, even when necessary.

Have a lovely weekend.

I dont know whether people here will dare go out in Kampala. Yesterday, they were too scared. I feel like partying, but that needs people to accompany it!

Be well!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Censored words and Wikileaks.

Actually, was turning in.

Then I realised that tomorrow is election day and I may not be able to post... hey! Just thinking.

You think I am lying? Well, here are some of the preparations for elections in Uganda tomorrow. And, Reuters says that this is bloody serious.

Uganda has ordered phone companies to intercept text messages with words or phrases including "Egypt", "bullet," and "people power" ahead of Friday's elections that some fear may turn violent.
An internal email from the state-run Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) with the order was leaked to the opposition coalition Inter-Party Cooperation (IPC) on Thursday.
Patrick Mwesigwa, head of UCC, confirmed to Reuters that it was genuine.
"We had a meeting with content providers on Tuesday and we decided that a list of key words should not be transmitted," he said.
"Messages containing such words, when encountered by the network or facility owner or operator, should be scrutinised and, if deemed to be controversial or advanced to incite the public, should be stopped or blocked," he said.
The other English words or phrases on the list are: "Tunisia", "Mubarak", "dictator", "teargas", "army", "police", "gun", "Ben Ali" and "UPDF".
Then, Wikileaks did the needful, leaking some things about David Kato. And David Bahati, from the ever giving US Embassy cables.... Now, you should read the whole article in the Guardian. For me, I pick and choose some choice things....
Murdered gay rights activist David Kato was mocked at a UN-backed debate on Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill, according to a US diplomat in Kampala in a leaked American embassy cable.
The diplomat said Kato, who was bludgeoned to death near his home in the capital, Kampala, last month, delivered a well-written speech against the bill, but his words were almost inaudible due to "his evident nervousness". Throughout his talk a member of the Ugandan Human Rights Commission "openly joked and snickered" with supporters of the bill, the diplomat claimed in the cable. 
and, this
In the cable, dated 24 December 2009, the diplomat claimed Ugandan politicians, including the author of the anti-homosexuality bill, David Bahati, had channelled anger at the country's socio-political failings into "violent hatred" of gay people. 
hey, also this....
Other confidential memos sent between Kampala and Washington in 2009-2010 and sent to WikiLeaks paint a picture of a worsening human rights climate in the runup to Ugandan elections on Friday . They chart Uganda's "chilling" descent from tolerance to violent homophobia and a deepening fear among gay activists, who claim they are being increasingly monitored and harassed.
The memos, classified as confidential, also reveal US diplomatic attempts to combat the draconian bill – which is at the parliamentary committee stage.
Under the heading Comment: Homophobic Demagogues, the diplomat reports in the Christmas Eve cable that Bahati, a born-again Christian MP from the ruling party, had become "further isolated" following "recent condemnations" by high-profile Pastor Rick Warren and other US-based individuals who are against the bill. However, it was clear he would not yield to international pressure.
Referring to Bahati, the diplomat said: "His homophobia … is blinding and incurable."
The diplomat refers also to James Nsaba Buturo, Uganda's minister for ethics and integrity, a strong supporter of the bill, and Pastor Martin Ssempa, who organises anti-gay rallies in Uganda, as key players ushering in a new era of intolerance.
"Bahati, Buturo, and particularly Ssempa's ability to channel popular anger over Uganda's socio-political failings into violent hatred of a previously unpopular but tolerated minority is chilling," the diplomat said.
You will have to read the rest from the Guardian....

Now. I am very sure my post contains some of the condemned, seditious, censored words above. And, tomorrow is election day......!

So, till we blog again, ok?!!!!

Hey, we can laugh at certain inadequacies in people's blinding logic. It keeps us very sane....!

be well, and I hope by this time tomorrow we shall not have an Iran, or Libya thing.... see, those words are not to be censored!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How do I title this?

Last evening....
Led an emotional remembrance for David Kato.

Fact is, have not yet gotten over it. One thing to know that I can, and how I can do it, but another thing to actually go through the steps, without the help my pride will not allow me to get....!
Ok, I know, I am sure, time will do the healing. But, it still hurts, a raw wound. It is less than a month since he died. So, maybe I should forgive myself for feeling all teary? And, yes, I should not be ashamed that people did see me at that moment of weakness.

But, some light things.....

DJ Miles of the BBC. Have you watched the ''Worst place to be gay?'?

If you havent, do...!

I live in this place of course. But, to hear of another's reactions to living in Uganda is interesting, to say the least. Some of these things I take for granted. For example, Exorcisms?

We gay people in Uganda have no relief from that. The gay 'spirit', the church, and the witchdoctors seek to throw them out of us. And, the churches also seek to throw them out of us. I know Victor Mukasa tells a story of his exorcism.....

Sigh, our search for spirituality as gay leads to lots of interesting things. Here is DJ Mills account.
DJ Scott Mills told last night how he was battered with CHICKENS by an African witch doctor trying to "cure" him of being gay.
The Radio 1 star, 36, endured the demeaning "treatment" for a film about Uganda's appalling attitude to homosexuals.
Stripped to the waist, Scott also suffered the humiliation of the witch doctor spitting on him.
And the ritual ended with water being poured over a flaming torch and on to his head.
It was just part of a catalogue of dicey situations the openly-gay DJ found himself in for tonight's BBC3 film, The World's Worst Place To Be Gay?
Victor says his exorcism included sex. Sex with the wrong gender person. To make sure that the spirits would not return, of course. Though, there was a twist. It was actually done in church, by church people. Sigh...... there is liberalism in some conservative places.

And, the spitting? LOL! Does Pastor Dr Martin 'eat da poo poo' Ssempa still spit when he talks of homosexuals? It is a supreme act of contempt, of rejection. He used to do it regularly, expressing his derision of us. He even did it on tv a few times.... LOL, Martin, if you want, I bet we can get some of those clips. The spitting.

Here is DJ Miles again.
"They have these witch doctors who claim they can cure people. I went to see one and I knew they were just fleecing people for money.
"He'd say weird things like, 'You're very sick, so you need to go and buy a cow then we'll transport your spirit into the cow'.
"But I said, 'You'll end up with a gay cow'."
It was then that the witch doctor performed the chicken ritual to "cure" Scott.

See? This sceptic concludes, faith people are too tough to trust. Whether they are in the churches, or the traditional doctors shrine. They all want to sell you something. A belief which will not square with your experience of yourself.

Scott also visited an underground nightclub where he mixed with gay people - who could at any time be rounded up and beaten or even killed by anti-gay cops.
He said: "The owners turned a blind eye to gay people coming in on a Sunday as otherwise they would be empty - as all the straight people are at church.
"But I didn't feel comfortable in the club. There was a strange air of tension in there.
"They're taking their safety into their own hands. I didn't like it at all."

I kind of understand Miles. He was coming from a place where it is free to get into a club where all know it is gay. Well, this was Uganda. We have grown up in the tension. It is part of the place, so, if you experience it, you will find us kind of bewildered..... We don't notice it.... not any longer. Of course, we are aware that we have to 'tone' down a bit. And, did you notice that.... oh, cant spill some secrets, can I?

But, maybe it is the hate which he sees, which is so prevalent....

I saw a clip where Miles stops a girl on the streets of Kampala and asks what the government should do with homosexuals. Hang them, of course.... Now, to a person who is gay and is forced to confront this kind of blind hate for the first time, that must have been a shock.
Demos where children are taught to hate us? That is normal Ugandan experience. Ok, kuchu experience. Think of a child who grows up in that environment and finds themselves kuchu?... That is something. We have done, and, we have the scars to show of it. See?

The hate speech in churches. For some reason, it is concerning me more and more. Because I have gotten through it, I feel I am ok. But, most of my friends are not. They are dogged by their spirituality. And, much like me, we will not express that need very coherently. I think I have something to do about it. Maybe meet Reverand Jide Macaulay of Nigeria? God's Holy Homosexual.

Well, it must have been an interesting documentary. I have not seen it. But, I do relate.

I have to be balanced? Yes, maybe. So, a harsher assesment of Miles documentary....

It was Valentine’s Day, so where else would young(ish), free and out-and-proud Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills be but Uganda?
The Uganda that’s in the grip of such ferocious homophobic fervour that gay rights activists are getting murdered and consensual gay sex is a criminal offence? Not what you’d call an ideal place for a hot date.
So what was he trying to prove? That Uganda really was The World’s Worst Place To Be Gay? (BBC3)?
No one was arguing too much with that question mark as Mills went vox popping in the streets of Kampala and encountered, to his obvious horror, the unanimous opinion that gays should be killed because, to quote one, ‘in Christ it’s not acceptable’.
What really shook Mills was the fact these were the words of Uganda’s youth, fed a diet of discrimination by evangelical pastors whose bigotry rested on the platform of religion.
To try to get to the crux of this, Mills sought out a selection of Bible-wielding hate-mongers but his encounters were lightweight and frustrating.
He shook his head in bewilderment at the words he was hearing, even admitting to being ‘charmed’ by those spouting them, when you wanted him to channel the anger he was clearly feeling and let rip. We needed a hard-nosed reporter but we got a fluffy prime time DJ.
LOL, I get your anger, but, I also am a Ugandan kuchu. That anger fuels us, and ultimately, we find that the fluffyiness works, because laughter relieves the tension of chronic anger.

Thanks Miles. You don't know it, but you have put words to somethings that I, having grown up here, and known what you see as my 'normal' life, I don't know how to put in words.

But, that will not stop me from seeking something that I know I deserve because I am human. A freedom, that belongs to me because I can give it to me.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo


this is one Christian whose witness I love.

I had wondered why he had not spoken since David was killed. Of course he was at the funeral, and completed he prayers for David Kato. But, you know..... I was like, I expected him. At the vigil, he was not able to attend.
Happens with leaders. In times of stress, you want to know that they are there with you, holding your hand, so to say.....

He has come out with a statement.

This guy is 78 years plus. An elderly man who is retired from his major work. I was not happy when I saw his photo on the 'Hang Them' issue of the Rolling pebble..... But, he is there, for us, in ways that we cannot be.
The bishop’s statement is an open letter to the Most Reverend Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and fellow bishops of the 70 million strong Anglican Communion. The statement calls for the Anglican Church to be more aggressive in its protection of human rights, particularly in Africa where significant support for continued criminalization of homosexuality is coming from religious leaders. The Anglican Church of Uganda with its 10 million members has been supportive of the recent Bahati Bill which is proposing more harsh sentences and calls for family members to report on suspected LGBT people. The Church has made public statements where they are critical of applying internationally recognized human rights standards to the LGBT community in Uganda. The bishop joins other Anglican bishops including three bishops in New York who responded to the Kato murder with a similar call for greater religious advocacy in the face of anti-gay legislation and increasing violence.
Hey, I know that Pastor Dr Martin 'eat da poo poo' Ssempa reads this blog. Good for you sir. Now, this is Christian witness that makes me think that there might be something in religion....!

Hey, I am not Christian... and, I tend to play up my lack of religion.

But, seriously, I am heartened by the way that Christian groups have actually come out to speak out against the homophobia that is driven by people like Dr 'eat da poo poo' above. It is the kind of drawing the line in the sand which the 'brothers and sisters' who claim sibling status to our countrymates who persecute us in Uganda. And, they cannot but 'hear' their brothers and sisters in faith. Oh yes, they will run and want to hide, and they will try, and try not to hear.... But, they will listen to you, Christians... LOL, they cannot hide from your shared faith, as a matter of fact. And, we Africans are very religious.

Here is the letter. It is very much worth reading to the full.

Open Letter from Bishop Christopher Senyonjo to Archbishop Rowan Williams
An open letter to the Anglican Communion on the place of human rights in communities of faith by Rt. Rev. Christopher Senyonjo, Retired Bishop of West Buganda and Director of the St. Paul’s Centre for Equality and Reconciliation, Kampala. February 8th 2011
Dear Archbishop Rowan Williams, Primates and fellow bishops, clergy and people of our diverse Anglican Communion.
Peace from God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I give thanks on behalf of the family and friends of David Kato for your love and prayers at this difficult time. All over the world, human beings are longing for liberation, love, respect and the dignity to have meaningful lives. This week alone, we witnessed it in Egypt .We also see this longing in the struggle for human rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people (LGBT) through the sacrificial life and death of David Kato. As human beings, we must respect our differences and be united in our call for listening and sharing with each other. To understand God, we are all called to understand the mystery of each other, including our sexualities. God has given us this gift and to defame, condemn, imprison and kill human beings because of their God-given nature, is a great human error. The church has a tragic history of condemning Jews, Moslems, scientists and LGBT people. Our teaching and theology has a causal effect and if we do not learn from our own historical mistakes, we will repeat the same sinful destruction of lives, families and communities.
When European churches failed to protect minority communities during World War II, people were sent to the gas chambers and concentration camps.  Many religious people in Europe emerged from that experience to help create the Declaration of Human Rights. We now have sixty years of building an internationally recognised framework for the protection of human rights in every country.  If Anglicans in one country dehumanize, persecute and imprison minorities, we must be true to the Gospel and challenge such assaults on basic human rights. They key to our ministry must be to educate our people and encourage LGBT people to tell their stories and the impact of homophobia in their lives. Listening to the stories of LGBT people was the beginning of my own transformation. This work of understanding the phenomenon of human sexuality should be taken seriously in our theological seminaries and schools. The clergy should be well equipped to serve and not to ignorantly repel the people of God. A required course in Human Sexuality should be required of all seminarians and clergy.
Many African countries imprison LGBT people because of who they are.  As a bishop in the midst of those countries, I am now a shepherd caring for the lost sheep that are persecuted by the Church and threatened by a pending anti-homosexual draconian bill in Uganda. I preach the new covenant of Jesus Christ sealed in love as we read in John 15:12. This is the heart of the Gospel-the Good News. This sacrifice of Love is mocked when sister churches tolerate or promote the violation of basic human rights. Life and liberty are at risk and we must hold each other accountable. A loving Anglican Communion should not keep quiet when the Rolling Stone tabloid in Uganda openly supports the “hanging of the homos,” including a fellow bishop who pleads for their inclusion and non-discrimination! Silence has the power to kill. We have witnessed its destruction this past week in the tragic and cruel murder of David Kato.
We African Anglicans have a rich and powerful history of speaking out on human rights in the most difficult of situations.  Bishop Colenso worked with Zulus to establish an indigenous church while being fought by his fellow English bishops.  Bishops Trevor Huddleston, John Taylor and Desmond Tutu resisted Apartheid. We must not demean our great tradition by oppressing LGBT minorities under any circumstances, even to maintain Anglican unanimity. The criminalization of homosexuality remains the greatest state and church sanctioned violence perpetrated against LGBT people and their allies in many countries. We must agree to demolish all forms of institutional homophobia beginning with the removal of all laws that punish human beings for being gay or living in loving relationships. This will be the first step in providing basic human rights to a largely invisible international community who live in daily fear of their lives.
So in thanksgiving for the unity and commitment we have together, let us continue to listen to one another, to protect the vulnerable and marginalized within our own societies and to bring our collective wisdom to the work of repairing the world and correcting the great injustices in our local communities.
Here is some commentary from Religious Dispatches.
Standing by the graveside of slain Uganda gay rights advocate David Kato at the end of last month, many of the gays and lesbians in attendance at his funeral wept. They were grieving the death of a beloved friend and mentor but they were also shaken by the interruption of the ceremony by a homophobic pastor, who told them that they were all destined for hell. The local pastor exhorted on homosexuals to repent or be punished by God before the microphone was snatched away one of Kato’s supporters.
It might have seemed that the last person the activist’s friends would turn to for support at the moment would be another religious leader. Especially given that the church in Uganda was at the head of the drive for the draconian anti-homosexuality bill still pending in Parliament.
But 79-year-old Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, in his purple cassock and small wire-rim glasses, stood at the head of a huddle of Kato’s friends and supporters, many of them in black T-shirts bearing the image of their beloved leader. “I know that some [gays and lesbians] are discouraged and even not going to church because they are being abused. Even today they are being abused. But please don’t be discouraged. God created you and God is on your side,” said perhaps the only member of Uganda’s clergy ministering to the LGBT community. 

Oh, yes. There are some Christians, who are really Christians. And, they dare stand up and speak even when it will cost them. And cost them a lot.

From this non-believer, that is Christian witness!


Pushing the 'Gay Agenda'

Not exactly overwhelmed by work, but, blogging is something that I do to unwind. Sometimes. And to think. Many times.

So, when I do not blog, I feel like something is missing. Especially as I use it to kind of polish up on the things that am thinking. Sometimes it is very rough diamond like, I must say? Or, it is a piece of hardened mud that I think is a diamond, anyway.

Was it yesterday that I was thinking of the change in press coverage in Uganda? After David Kato's death, anyway. Good thing, in a way.

Was actually commenting to some people that Uganda is maybe one of the few countries in Africa with an organised anti-gay movement. Seems Cameroon has joined. Well, good things, and bad things, can be copied.

Malawi is playing the 'foreign aid tied to homosexuality promotion' card. It is a tough one. In our countries, it is impossible for us to come out to say that we are gay. So, monstrocities like the Anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda can come up. And, they can and do hurt us.
On the other hand, when we use our gay brothers and sisters outside our countries, people who make common cause for us simply because they know what we are, more than our African countrymates, we immediately face the accusation of being 'sell outs'. and, not only that, of promoting 'un african values'.... lol.

That can be very frustrating.

But, we cannot underestimate the value that that card has. Here is the Malawi government. Apparently, aid is refused on the grounds that Malawi is not promoting some Civil liberties. One of the ones singled out is the increased criminalisation of homosexuality. Apparently, being a lesbian was not criminalised. So, for the sake of 'gender balance' [Wow, they have learnt the words to use, too!], they criminalised relations between women.

So, the Malawi government comes up and says, you see, they are pushing us to accept homosexuality... of all things!!!! Oh well. Here is the article.
Malawi government on Wednesday took a strong stand against bilateral donors saying it cannot compromise its sovereignty to legalise homosexuality in order to get aid.
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Dr George Chaponda led a team of Presidential spokesperson Hetherwick Ntaba, Information and Civic Education Minister Symon Vuwa Kaunda and Gender, Women and Children Welfare  Minister Tereza Mwale in addressing a news conference in the capital Lilongwe.
During the news conference, the officials were reacting to reports that Germany government has cut aid following Malawi’s failure to repeal laws that criminalize homosexuality and its enactment of laws seen as restricting media freedom.
And the United States of America government has delayed to release $350 million grants amid concerns of new laws to curb individual freedoms in the southern African nation.
No problem.

Life does go on. And, it is not a bad thing. Meaning we are still have lots of work to do.

Why? Why not.... the continent still has lots of issues with my sexuality. And, I am just not going to leave it.

I love Africa, beautiful and dark as it is.


PS. I do love the US Congressman's definition of the gay agenda. Love it. Barney Frank, is it? Yes. He was quoted here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Changes in the Press?

A remarkable transformation has occured in the print media in Uganda.

I am not kidding you. Or, maybe it is the fact that I am kidding myself. Because I am basing my observations on a single paper, though it is the Monitor, which is independent. And the change is not really perfect.

Last that I posted, I was decrying the character assassination that occurred of David Kato, in death. The dude died a violent death. And, the circumstances and what followed kind of opened the eyes of the populace to the sheer hate speech that characterises my country-mates' thoughts of me. And, there was a change.

The New Vision, which is the government owned paper, seems to have decided that not discussing anything concerning homosexuality is the policy. Kind of like ostrich head in the sand, and very funny. But, that is what happens in Uganda.

Of course, there is the likes of the red rug, or red chilli, which thrives on the most offensive of headlines. David Kato was a bum driller, etc, etc. Those are the things we gay Ugandans are used to.

And, when the character assassinating articles appeared in the Monitor, here and here in the Daily Nation of Kenya, I was incensed. Mainly because they dared to attribute to me things that I had not said at all. But, it was with a realisation that this was the usual fare of homophobic hate speech that was on offer. Fact. This is Uganda. And, these are Ugandan papers. The fact that the guy that they were character assassinating was dead would not stop them from imputing that he was HIV positive, quoting 'sources'.... Gutter press indeed.

But, have they redeemed themselves?

No, I have not got an apology. But, I cannot but appreciate the fact that the Monitor in Uganda has dared, and continued to produce a series of articles that are at least balanced. Very balanced. They would actually be termed 'promotion' of homosexuality, if Bahati had his way with the Anti-Homosexuality bill. Yes, they are that positive.

But, the articles have been instructive. Take this one, which examines our lives after the death of David. Closet homosexuals sink further under the radar after Kato’s death.

“The best way to hide is to fit in. Be as ordinary as everyone else and there will not be many questions to ask, and answers to give,” he adds. There is an ever-present sense of consciousness that runs on autopilot in the Ugandan gay man’s mind, Mukasa says. But that was before the murder of gay rights activist, David Kisule Kato last month, which, as Mukasa says, “Forces you to ask yourself whether you have watched your back well.”
Mukasa and Sam Musiime (also not real name), say the gay Ugandan living in the closet now has to add even more latches and keep the world away from the skeletons. “The aftermath of David Kato Kisule’s death is a strange atmosphere of confusion, fear, sadness, shock, and terror,” Musiime says, adding, “After watching a pastor deliver a less than savoury hate speech at his funeral, all I could think is, ‘they must think we are all mad’.”
Musiime and Mukasa are both in their late 20s and have kept their orientation a secret from many for nearly a decade now. “You tell no one. Only gay people like you ever get to know, and even then, you watch which gay person gets to find out because they too could sell you out, accidentally or not,” Musiime says. “The key is to ease into society as much as possible, behave like everyone else, even flirt with girls to portray the usual boy look,” Musiime says.

The reporter captures what our lives have been like, and continue to be in Uganda. Nothing that has not happened to me and mine, and continues to happen, even now. Afrogay pokes some fun at the reporter's obvious fascinated preconceptions. Well, no one but someone who has lived this life can understand the huge fact that we are taught to sink in, literally, because it is survival of those who can blend in best. Well, we do live in Uganda.

The Monitor has followed the story. With updates on the 'murder investigation'.... hey, I am seriously not going to say there was an investigation. Maybe made for camera? But then, you do realise that I am gay, Ugandan, and in this case, heavily biased? No way that I am going to accept the 'Gay Panic Defense'.

Mr Nsubuga said he did not intend to kill Kato, adding that he was only trying to defend himself.
“Kato wanted me to be his lover which I completely refused because I was not pleased with what he was doing to fellow men,” he said.
The gay panic defence indeed. Gosh, I hope that guy was truly confessing to something that he had done, and that the confession is not coerced. I simply find myself wondering whether to condemn him in the most vigorous of terms, but also there is the fact that the guy may simply not be guilty..... oh well, somewhere, I do have a conscious. And, it is simply not allowing me to lay to rest my fears..... Charles Onyango Obbo captures my ambivalence perfectly here.
The Uganda Police is not famous for its great investigative skills, so any time they quickly parade suspects who confess to a crime, the public has every right to be suspicious that the whole show has been fixed. 
And, yes, he writes an interesting article.

I know Obbo. Even in the days when the Monitor used to write bad articles, the usual fare about gays in Uganda, he was simply the voice of reason. I believe he founded the paper, got lots of flak from the government for not printing the government's points of views, and sold it to the current owners. but he is still working with them.

And, his article is interesting. Starting off with the 'Right' and 'Wrong' reasons for killing David Kato.... LOL, yes, the guy is provocative, but the analysis leaves me knowing that he has sat on the sidelines and seen a bit of both sides. It is worth reading. Mainly because he dares to say things which another person would not dare say in Uganda. That the government cannot be trusted, the police is manipulated, etc, etc.... But, it is a provocative article.

According to the Uganda Police, Sydney Nsubuga has confessed to killing Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato in his home in Mukono last week. Nsubuga had, according to the story, been having an affair with Kato and killed him in anger when the latter failed to give him the glittering presents he had promised.
Many don’t believe that account. First, because of the Uganda government’s rabid anti-gay views. Second, because a gay-hating tabloid called Rolling Stone was allowed to publish names of alleged gays or their supporters and call for them to be hanged, until a court stopped it. The government wasn’t going to lift a finger. In fact, it was suspected that some homophobic elements in the state might have been secret backers of Rolling Stone.

I will leave it here. And, also acknowledge that Wole Soyinka and a lot of other Nigerian academics are sending out some strong signals to African governments about homophobia.
 That kind of leadership is appreciated. The problem is not only in Uganda, I am forced to remember, many times.

Have a great day.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Advice, Advice people!

I have been angry the whole day.

Simple, I am very unhappy about the smear campaign that happened in the Daily Monitor in Uganda and Daily Nation in Kenya.

They have a right to tell their lies. But, they are quoting me in the lies.

I would like advice from you. How should I handle these liars?

I would like to take on the Monitor and the Daily Nation, because they are the agents of the whole issue. And, since they are a reputable organisation that told a lie, I want to call them to it.

What do you think I should do?


The Spin Doctors.


Actually, I was really unhappy with this one. This is un UNTRUTH, that is being propagated, in my name. Here it is. 
Similar article in the Daily Nation of Kenya. A sister to the Monitor in Uganda.

A member of the Ugandan gay community writes on the BlogSpot GayUgandan that there were times when Kato’s drinking worried them.

“When we had dated (for) a while I asked him to take an HIV test with me after hearing rumours that he could be infected. His refusal confirmed my fears and I left him. I always thought that his positive status, which most people didn’t know about, could have been the reason for his over-drinking…,” writes the blogger.
Now, I did mention that David's drinking did disturb me. Hell, yes, it did. So, was he supposed to be an angel? He was not supposed to be having any problems? Shit... No, so David had a drinking problem? Oh, and, a friend, the blogger is quoted?

But What really irks me is the fact that I am quoted in a lie too.

  • I never, ever dated DAVID KATO.

  • I HAVE NEVER, EVER MENTIONED DATING DAVID KATO ON THIS BLOG. Search for it and prove me wrong.

  • The first I have heard it whispered that DAVID KATO was HIV positive was in this article. I had never heard the rumour.

  • I certainly never, ever told anyone that DAVID KATO was HIV positive.


I hate lies..... I really hate lies that are propagated like they are truth.

I hate lies broadcast in the media. I hate lies told about me. I hate lies that are spun for the sake of politics, or something else.

I was not going to post, indeed, I wanted to caution people out there that I may not be posting for some time. Until I came accross this stinging article in the Monitor newspaper that seeks to tarnish the memory of David Kato Kisuule.

I know that it is the govt, and the anti-gay movement in Uganda trying to do their best to make sure that Kato is discredited. They are Christians, (or claim to be). But, and I strongly advise them, let them not lie. It is their right to fight. But let them not lie. And let them not INCLUDE GAYUGANDA IN THEIR DASTARDLY LIES.

Breathe in, breathe out, breath in, breath out.


Unmasking David Kato

Yes, this is a nice smear campaign.

I know. it is. And, well, they do a good job. First, introducing Kato, the circumstances. and kind of painting a 'good' light about him. But, that is not all.

“David juggled almost every responsibility within the movement, his major concern our safety. He hated “slow work” and red tape and in most cases he came off as a leader in his own category,” testifies Val Kalende, a fellow activist.
Kalende adds that he was also known for his energy and quick response to security matters, which saw him nicknamed “security”. “It didn’t matter who you were, he reached out to help you. He fed, dressed, comforted, and housed many members of the community who were homeless,” adds Kalende. 
Not everyone seems to have appreciated his outstanding stance, as one member of the community who claims to have been an ex-lover to the late confesses, “When I heard Kato was dead, I was saddened but also relieved. He was such an assuming person who thought he was better than anyone else, even amongst the gay community
Frankly, this was David's work. And, he did it brilliantly.

He was an elder in the community, and, in Uganda's depressed conditions, he was a very blunt advocate for maturity amongst the kuchus.
Yes, he was called 'security' amongst other nicknames, trying to make sure that people were security conscious. And then getting them to style up. We can be very immature, we kuchus.

David hosted many kuchus at his house in Nansana, and where he was killed. Usually the circumstances were that he would get them from police cells, because they were accused of being gay. That was his job. He would then need to find a place for them simply because, living in the same community where you have been outed is simply not an option. And, David's house was the usual first 'safe space' option.

David did host Georgina George Oundo in those circumstances. And, if I am not mistaken, S. Mugisha. Yes, I would like Georgina, who is currently 'ex-ex-gay' to deny that.

Paul Kagaba, the face of Ex-Gays in Uganda, and the one who is the chief spokesperson for Martin 'eat da poo poo' Ssempa and also Male, is a liar, and a thief. Oh yes, he has told lots of lies, at the behest of his masters. And, I am sure that he is continuing to tell them. I hope he gets good recompese for that.

Amongst the lies that he has told, he has been always saying that Kato 'recruited him into homosexuality'. Now, when I knew Kagaba, he was an adult, with bisexual behavior at that time. And, he was known to be one of those guys who would go to your home, and leave with your phone. He was 'gay for money' as the saying goes. That was my impression of him.

Yes, I do remember that he was friends with a white expatriate friend of mine. Male. And that, they had something going for a few weeks. I know that they fell thruough, and Kagaba turned to another white expatriate friend, a female that one. That was his deal anyway. And, my sources tell me it fell apart again when he tried to move into her house...... Kagaba was always in for the main chance.

And, more recently, last year, he was showing photos of himself with his former white expatriate friend. And he was saying that they were married. That the photo was of them on their honeymoon. Lie. Very big lie. But again, that is Kagaba. His lies in the Monitor... or, at least his version of the Kato he knew.

Paul Kagaba, a former homosexual now crusading against gay practices who claims to have known Kato in Masaka during his senior four vacation, at a time when the late was head school teacher for a primary school, describes him as loud, rude and arrogant.

Kagaba for instance believes this was only so he could trap innocent people and use them for his sexual desires. “I was young when I met him. He bought my first ‘take away’ ever and two Guinnesses and I ended up in his house being sexually used which is how I was initiated into homosexuality. That’s how he always initiated other people then went about the job of verbally turning them against women, insisting they’re filthy,” he claims.

One of the theories surrounding his murder is in fact that the prime suspect is a man Kato had bailed out of jail a few days back that could have killed him because of his sexual advances. Kagaba adds, “Whoever knew Kato and is truthful knows that he was not a kind, generous person but a sly show off, popular in bars where he offered free drinks to unsuspecting victims that he later initiated into sex partners.”
But, the smears continue....

I am quoted as having been concerned about his drinking. Hell, of course I was. Have I never mentioned that I am also concerned with my drinking?
It is a pretty nice smear campaign. Picking quotes from here and there, and then mounting something, in the name of making sure that David Kato's name is sullied.

But, the smears continue. That, David Kato was HIV positive.
His aforementioned ex-lover however says he could know the reason for his over indulgence. “When we had dated a while I asked him to take an HIV test with me after hearing rumours that he could be infected. His refusal confirmed my fears and I left him. I always thought that his positive status which most people didn’t know about could have been the reason for his over drinking sometimes.”
A medical doctor that claims to have been the late’s doctor confirms that indeed Kato was HIV positive, having confirmed his status in December 2008. “In fact the day he was murdered at his home I was expecting him at the hospital but he didn’t show up,” adds the doctor. Nakato also enlightens that when on her way out to run some errands, she’d inquired about why he was staying home that day, and Kato had said he wasn’t feeling too well and would stay to rest. 
Why does this matter?

The taint, the stigma of being HIV positive is a big thing in Uganda. There have been public campaigns, and other things. It is still a big thing in Uganda.

You know what the anti-gay camp accuses us in Uganda? that we gay people go around spreading HIV. Oh yes, they are instrumental in making sure that we do not have an HIV prevention campaign in the country. And, at the same time they cry that we spread HIV.

Why does Kato's doctor feature here? Which doctor worth of his salt would reveal that his patient in HIV positive? Frankly, I do not believe it. Frankly, I dont believe any doctor working in Uganda would dare say this to a journalist. But, maybe it is true????!!!!!

But, why would it feature in a newspaper article?

Simple. To increase the perception amongst Ugandans that Kato was a bad guy. HIV positive...... oh well, did I mention that at least 7% of Uganda's adult population is HIV positive? And, they do have to live, on a daily basis, in fear of such slurs to their status. Such indirect hits at them.

And then, about the mother. Kato David's mom.
But Kagaba, who says to have known him beyond his activism days, insists she had disowned him the moment she discovered the truth about his sexuality.
I dont know about that. David had never mentioned it. Another Kagaba lie? What I know is that they were close. And, I know that she was distraught. Nice, trying to paint it here that she had disowned him.

My mom. My Dad. they know that i am gay. They know my partner. They know that I live with him. I have detailed those things on this blog.

Matter of fact, this is important because the anti-gay side always paints us as rejects from our families. Oh shit. This is so shitty. Clever lies mixed with a little of the truth to make it stronger.

But, I am amused at this, the final lie.
Kato is otherwise said to have had a twin brother who some people say he came out to and they remained close, and a sister that anyone hardly seems to know anything about. How he truly related with his family however remains a mystery. For all that came to life in his death, the details of his family may be the one thing the public never gets to know as even they remain tight lipped, refusing to add to the international furor that his death has already caused. 
I was at the funeral. I did mention that I saw Wasswa, Kato's elder twin. He is not 'said' to have had a twin brother. The brother was there at the funeral. I saw him.

He might not have talked to the Monitor reporter, but he certainly was speaking to us.

And, yes, I have just googled and found a report that I saw. Wasswa was actually talking to some media.

Very good that this reporter didnt get her hands on him. Maybe he would have strangled her for her smear of his murdered twin.

Nice try, nicely written article, by the way.

Just makes me feel so sad that you are using your talents that way, Madam.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Honoured, in Death.

I feel a funny kind of pride, seeing the way friends. From across the world have joined Ugandan kuchus to celebrate the life of David Kato.

I no longer talk about it as a mourning. We must, up and go. And that includes turning from the tears which are too ready to flow, to celebrating his life, his work, his passion. He died. But, we still live, and there is much to do. Not least shown of course by the vicious campaign of dishonour which is going on at the same time.

But, I speak of honour here.

Friends all over the world have been part of it.

New York, Paris, Washington DC, San Francisco, Cape Town, Pretoria, Nairobi in Kenya. The solidarity from friends round the world has been solid, and heart warming. On behalf of Kuchus in Uganda, I thank you friends. The death was a blow, and shocking to us. But, the solidarity to honour our departed with the vigils has been an unexpected blessing. Thanks for your love, for your solidarity with us. Thanks for reminding us that we do have friends in you. Thanks for reminding us that we are not alone, where we are.

Of course, there are political implications to the death and what happened afterwards. In the US, some soul searching is happening. What does the Family, and the Prayer breakfast have to do with it? Of course, Minister Nsaba Buturo and MP Bahati are attendees. Or, they were before. Exporters, funders of homophobia? And, the President of the US honours them?
I am not so much into politics... though US politics is fascinating. [forget Egypt, which is usually boring!] But, the analyses, the questions, they do interest me. Human behaviour, motivation, actions.

And, yes, there are those who are determined to dishonour him in death. Here is an excellent article, from the African Activist. The Activist examines the timeline of the accusations, and finds some questions really begging to be asked. Answers to be sought in the murder of David Kato. And, the Activist is succinct.

As the investigation timeline below demonstrates, five days before Enoch Sydney Nsubuga was even arrested, MP David Bahati had already blamed David Kato's death on "the financial donations of individual donors." Pastor Martin Ssempa blamed it on "gay-on-gay" bashing. Giles Muhame, the Rolling Stone tabloid editor, said David was "victim of his own 'evil' actions." Scott Lively, the American evangelical who consulted with Bahati and Ssempa before the introduction of the bill, stated that David was killed by a "'gay' lover".

Were these men privy to the interrogation of Arnold Ssenoga, David Kato's driver? Did Arnold Ssenoga know why David Kato was murdered? Why would the sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 be so close to an "impartial" investigation? Why would MP David Bahati, Pastor Martin Ssempa, Giles Muhame and Scott Lively provide motives for David's death to the world press five days before the arrest and interrogation of the prime suspect? Why did Pastor Martin Ssempa visit the murder scene? Why do the stories of these four men, three in Kampala and one in America, line up so neatly on the same day?

Read the whole article. Something has been stinking to high heavens for me. I have been asking myself some of the questions. The Activists articulates them much better than I have been doing.

Frankly, I just want David Kato's murderer gotten. I am personally not convinced that this is the guy, the one who was arrested. More proofs necessary, most simply because our police force is quite capable of creating evidence, especially with high profile cases like this.

They are very capable of producing 'confessions'. But, these confessions should be supported by hard evidence. That is what I would like to see.

Saying that Kato was killed by a 'male prostitute' who was promised a 'house, car, money' for his services, and didn't get them after 2 days.... that is dis-ingenious.
I am no Bill Gates. I mean, if I promise you the world for sleeping with me........ Hey, I do expect a little time to deliver on my promises!!!!


Let us get David Kato's killer, or killers. And, for goodness sake, let us not be taken in by smokescreens that are being thrown out left, right and center.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Some interesting views in Uganda

When I get to the net and check the news, and see photos of David Kato, I feel teary, again and again. Have to remind myself that it is good to put it out there and mourn the guy. A friend, a fellow activist. Suprising things remind me of him, like being in a place and remembering the last time that I saw him there.

Yes. I hurt. Still. Have to remind myself that it is good to hurt and scream my hurt out.... isnt it? Otherwise it will fester. Into hate.

Something curious has happened. Inspector General of Police, the might Kale Kayihura.... lol, he has quite a reputation. When we first came out as gay at a press conference... that was 2008? [How time flies!], anyway, the Minister of Integrity and Ethics wondered how come we had held a press conference with the major Kampala police station not very far from our venue... We were in masks that time.

Apparently, the guy did reply, or is reported to have said that homosexuality was a crime, but the police had much more serious things to look for. It was a very encouraging statement to us.

And, Kayihura has come out with some very positive statements, this time too. The catalyst is David's murder. Yes, it seems as if he is back tracking on the immediate, easy motives for the murder, not 'rulling' out homophobia. But, he is also cautioning the hate preachers. Here are the suprising statements. The first here.

The Inspector General of Police, Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura, has cautioned the public and anti-homosexuality pastors against being insensitive to the gay community in the country.

Gen. Kayihura, who fell short of openly condemning anti-gays campaigns, said people, especially priests, should stop the campaign which he described as irresponsible. “You must be sensitive. You should stop engaging in extremist campaigns that can be interpreted differently,” Gen. Kayihura said at the Media Centre yesterday. His call followed yesterday’s arrest of a suspect in the killing of David Kato, a gays rights activist, at his home in Mukono District.

Last year Kato was named and pictured by an anti-gay tabloid called Rolling Stone in a story that carried the headline "Hang Them" in reference to gay rights campaigners.
"Whoever is talking about hanging, we are going to have to take them on. It is absolutely unacceptable," Kayihura said.

Kayihura also admonished Anglican priest Thomas Musoke for anti-gay remarks made at Kato's funeral last week.

"You don't make such statements at a funeral," he said. "God accepts everybody ... you must be sensitive."

Although engaging in homosexual sex is listed in Uganda's penal code, Kayihura said investigating such cases in not a top priority.

"At this moment in time, there are bigger crime categories that we are focusing on," he said.

That is the IGP for you. He is quite a likeable guy. Now, now, now, if I compare the police in Uganda to the police in Egypt.... sigh....!
The comparison is quite apt. And, that is the thing which does ruin Kayihura's reputation. At least for me, any way. Of course, his reluctance to go after the sins that Minister Buturo feels are the most deadly kind of endears him to this practicing homosexual!

I also noted that the explanation of 'Gay panic' is taking hold. It is quite 'believable' in Uganda. Remember the homophobic nature of society. Many would believe that murder, for gay advances is reasonable. Just because they are gay advances.

However, preliminary findings by police indicate that Kato was killed by his partner whom he enticed into homosexual practices but failed to fulfill a promise to give him a car. The suspect was yesterday paraded before the media.

We do need to deal with that thing. And, hitting away at that is very important.

Like when the police had decided that it was 'aggravated robbery' for goodness' sake!

Be well


Thursday, February 3, 2011

In Uganda today....

In today's Papers,

Here is the report from the Monitor.

A man whom police arrested yesterday on allegations of killing David Kato, a human rights activist, has reportedly told police that the deceased coerced him into sodomy.

David Kato, 46, an advocacy officer for the gay rights group, Sexual Minorities Uganda, was found with head wounds at his home in Bukusa, Mukono District but died on his way to hospital last Wednesday.

Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said the suspect had been hiding in Nakabago village, Mukono District. “It is true the suspect has been arrested but we need to record his statement first before giving a formal statement,” Ms Nabakooba said yesterday. But a police source, who preferred anonymity because he is not authorised to talk to the press, said the suspect confessed to killing Kato because he was reportedly tired of engaging in homosexual practices.

We have taken him to Mukono Magistrate’s Court to record an extrajudicial statement,” the source said. “He told us that he killed Kato after he failed to give him a car, a house and money he promised as rewards for having sex with him,” the source said.

Kato is alleged to have bailed the suspect out of Kawuga Prison on January 24, where he been remanded on charges of theft of a mobile phone. The suspect told police that he stayed with Kato for two days. He accused the deceased of having sex with him and promising to pay him during the period.

The suspect allegedly told the police he got tired of having sex with Kato but the latter would not have any of his excuses. “The suspect said he left the bedroom, went to a store and picked a hammer which he used to hit him [Kato] while he was still in bed,” the source said. The death of Kato was condemned by the international community as an attack on the gay community.

Neat, for everyone concerned, isnt it?

The major suspect is arrested, in record time. He has a 'very convincing reason' for the murder.... a reason which can exhonarate him in the eyes of most Ugandans..... He was being forced to have sex. Gay sex. He was promised a car, a house, and money.....

Wow, I do hope that someone delivers on the 25M USD that Nsaba Buturo said that I was supposed to share. My bank account is still empty. Yes, it is in the red. And, I dearly wish that state of affairs to be remedied.

Neat. For most Ugandans. No sense of guilt necessary. This was the evil gay on gay thing. Exhonerated. No need for Ugandans to have any soul searching, inciting hatred.

Except, can you punch some holes in that confession? Pretty increadible, isnt it? I am not very conversant with the 'gay panic' defence, but I thought it is kind of thin when a person has been having sex and of a sudden changes his mind.... hey, I am just asking! Anyway, I bet many Ugandans are quietly relieved.

Sigh, I am biased. So, I do not need to add onto this statement of mine.

But, there is more from the Ugandan papers. For some reason, the New Vision is following assidiously the case of the Pastor Wars. And, the 'revelations' from the 'witnesses' are interesting. This is Uganda. You have to remind yourself that these witnesses were Ssempa and Male's star witnesses in their almost 4 months battle with Pastor Kayanja during the Pastor wars.

Again, this is Uganda. The soap opera here is, frankly, captivating. I am not going to bias you anymore. Here is the New Vision report.

A prosecution witness yesterday told Buganda Road Court that Pastor Solomon Male gave him a false identity to accuse Pastor Robert Kayanja of sodomy.

The witness, who said his name was Robert Kaliba Musasizi Bulega, said Male named him Samson Mukisa, and instructed him to fabricate the story.

Male, and three other pastors, Martin Sempa, Michael Kyazze, and Robert Kayiira, are accused of conspiring to injure the reputation of Kayanja who heads the Rubaga Miracle Centre Church.
The other co-accused are State House employee Dorothy Kyomuhendo, and local musician David Mukalazi.

Matovu said he was promised sh56m to tarnish Kayanja’s name and that Kyazze gave him sh15,000 after testifying that Kayanja had sodomised him.

Hearing of the case resumes on February 16

See, the saga is ongoing. Note that date. This is Uganda. The country which gives, and continues giving and giving, and giving.

Wonder what will happen come Feb 16?

For your information, that was the second witness. The first one, the report is here. Comedy, Made in Uganda.