Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Two Divergent Opinions. In Uganda

Debate, in the Monitor.

Yes, they seem commited to debate. Independence is a funny thing. Monitor journalists may be homophobic personally, but, they are susceptible to reason. So, when there is a debate on, they dare to tackle debate about homosexuality in Uganda.
Sadly, the biggest circulation paper is the New Vision, a government daily, which once upon a time was strongly inclined towards debate. Now, it is so silent that you may laugh. They are hobbled. By ‘policy’. Poor New Vision…’for a better Uganda’!

Here are two opinion pieces from the Monitor.

REV. DR. FRED S. MWESIGWA senior lecturer at Uganda Christian University, Mukono 

And, why MUST we NOT lose this war? His arguments run along this.
  • A minority have NO rights in a democracy.
    I quote “I strongly argue that this will be a bold statement about how democratic Uganda is. Madill has a wrong notion of democracy that subscribes to the view that a minority who decide to promote un-African and un-Godly sexual expressions should have their rights safeguarded in a democratic country.”

  • In the ‘West’ Christians are running away from homosexual accepting churches.

  • We should not allow a ‘dictation’ by the minority through ‘political correctness’
    I quote, “
    one of the main problems of the western world is the acceptance of the dictatorship of the minority whereby in order to be seen to be politically correct, the majority will eventually give in to any wayward group to save face. In some countries of the western world, it is now a human right to walk naked in some areas and some beaches have been gazetted nudist by naturists. Question is, if you concede ground to homosexuality, aren’t you opening a flood-gate for other aberrations like bestiality?

  • We should not ‘compromise on moral issues’
    And, in Uganda of course, homosexuality is a bigger moral issue than rampart corruption. Of course.

  • Ugandans are ‘some of the most loving human beings on earth’ “but they hold true to strong cultural and religious values that abhor the sin of homosexuality, much as they love the homosexuals and desire to see them change.”
    Well, I am a Ugandan who is gay, and, I am yet to see this very starling characteristic of my countrymates. Hey Christians, when will you ever understand the hypocrisy of loving the sin and hating the sinner… or the other way around!

And, we end with this dire prediction. “The time is now for Parliament to declare whether Uganda should dance to every tune that is played by western countries. If the Anti-homosexuality Bill fails to be passed, as sure as night follows day, I can visualise a plethora of sexual aberrations that will be fronted as human rights issues in Uganda in the not so distant future

Well. what a BROADSIDE!
But, there is a divergent opinion, which seems weak besides that well coached and arousing call to action.

Mr Kiflu is an Ethiopian Refugee living in Uganda

For a moment, I thought I had written the story. Yeah, the ‘uniqueness of gay people’!!!!!

But, then I saw first the laying down of heterosexual credentials. NB. In Uganda, you MUST be able to convince others that you are not gay.

But, he brings about another of those things which, for some reason, Africans see as wrong. Left handedness. I can vouch for such a story. I do remember, in my primary, a child being beaten for writing with his left hand. Made an impression that has never deserted me.

  • Except me, all my family members are right handed. That left handedness was discovered when I began to go to school. Right away, a self-righteous teacher made it her mission to set me right from the devilish position of the leftists. She didn’t succeed except leaving in my psyche a lasting negative impression of schools.

  • Almost three decades later, I found myself in a concentration camp at the outskirts of Addis Ababa.
    “One early morning, I heard someone screaming. When I followed the voice, a habitual offender jailed for the second time for aggravated robbery and another one sentenced to life for murder, was brutally clubbing a fellow inmate in front of a prison guard. When I asked the guard, why he sanctioned the beating, he answered simply “he’s dirty.” Another inmate who noticed my bewilderment told me that the hapless boy is gay.”

  • Then, he comments on the Public ‘Dialogue’. Well, it is good that my impression of the football hooligan atmosphere was not a figment of my mind. And, I also was impressed by the pseudo-science of Mr Stephen Langa.
    ”While the panelists from Hon. Bahati down to Prof. Tamale presented their respective position well, the audience, especially, those favouring the bill behaved almost like football hooligans.”

  • Unfortunately, since the bill itself is intended to feed on peoples age-old prejudices, it’d have been no wonder to witness worst scenarios. Still, thanks to that dialogue that inspired me to do my own little research, I found out that Mr Stephen Langa’s assertion on the possibility of a homosexual being converted has little scientific foundation. From Sigmund Freud down to successive scientists confirmed that conversion for the most part is neither possible nor desirable. Hence, I concluded that despite Langa’s commendable effort to cloak his presentation with pseudo-scientific facts, the scholarship of Prof. Sylvia Tamale and the pragmatism of Major Rubaramira Ruranga carried the day.

It is a pity the guy is a ‘foreigner’, an Ethiopian. I would have lauded his reasoning. Of course! But, he is at least an African (Sniff!). We are not totally hopeless…!


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