Monday, February 11, 2008

Things I dare not write about

They are many, and interesting. Some strange, some too personal. For some I cannot get the language to give them justice.

For some it is just being prudent.

I am gay. That in Uganda is enough of a black mark. Too much of one for me to blog about politics.

Being gay does not make me a-political. Just prudently silent. The blog is hosted somewhere in the Americas. But a few do know who I am. And of course, with the myriad ‘security’ organisations in Uganda, I would be a fool to assume that my authorship is unknown.

Yet my self censorship sometimes goes a bit too far.

There is this interesting political discussion that is going on.

A member of parliament. (There I go again, self censoring.) My member of parliament has thrown a gauntlet at his Excellency the president. (I am not sure, but calling him anything but that may be ‘seditious’ according to the law of the country. But I can call Bush a fool, without risking arrest. At least I think so.)

Anyway, MP Kamya has done the unthinkable. Called the president out on things which are widely rumoured, but wisely un-said. The sectarian divisions in the country, the question of his parentage- err., whether or not he is Ugandan by birth. It seems to be a very sticky point with him.

The old man (senile, from the strangeness of some of his decisions, including this one), has reacted with anger. And has vowed to take her to court.

Beti Olive Namisango Kamya. My member of parliament, because I happen to live here at this moment.

She is a courageous woman. Women in Uganda really began their emancipation with the current president’s tenure. She was one of the pioneers. A firebrand politician. Had to give up her job when she was dissatisfied with the politics. Joined the opposition party.

She is re-known for the fierceness of her courage, the fact that she will say what needs to be said. And she is good at organising.

In Uganda, being in the opposition, is like saying you are in rebellion to the government. The police arrest you on any pretext, you find yourself fighting useless cases in the courts, and you may suddenly find that you have ‘raped’ someone. Serious. Ask the political leader of the opposition.

(Good thing I can say that I am gay. Would be ridiculous to be accused of raping a woman and my defence is, well, I am gay! Not in Uganda)

I have carefully not read the ongoing fracas. Too frustrating. The birth order of the president is nothing to me. His ethnicity is not worth a bowl of spit. He is an African, as is the lady. Fighting about it in the papers is ripping glaring holes in the façade of our unity. The ethnic problems that have gripped Kenya are too superficially buried in Uganda. They are waiting for the smallest touch of the trigger, and we shall be wrapped in more fierce flames than are burning in Kenya at the moment.

Strange to put it like so.

Yet, though I see that clearly, it is a fact that I can do next to nothing. Egos are involved. Monumental egos. The president is fighting a war of public opinion which was lost years ago. And he is becoming increasingly unreasonable in some decisions.

God help Uganda.



Anonymous said...

I'm proud of you.

You are articulate and your ideas are presented in a concise manner and I am proud to call you fellow country-man.

I support self censorship on your part only because of where you are. But God help Uganda indeed! I cannot believe Kamya did that! Is she mad? Isn't she going to find herself the victim of some brutal (and possibly fatal) home invasion? She's lost her mind.

I'm a Ugandan lesbian but for well known reasons I'm in exile. I blog at Come by sometime!

gayuganda said...

Hi Sis,


I will certainly visit.


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