Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What do the Papers say?

Hey, the President did speak yesterday.

Now, in watching the tea leaves, some shapes are more important than others. When the President speaks in Uganda, one has to watch carefully. He is the President.

I was watching NTV last night. You can see the clip on Youtube here. The pres, speaking on the first day of the meeting of the NRM (ruling party), unprompted brought up the Bahati bill. He gave the usual rambling speech. There were foreign policy issues to consider. He had had lots of phone calls. And, the government was going to talk to Bahati about the bill.

During the statement, the NRM members (including MPs) became rowdy, shouting No, No, No for some, talking with each other, mumbling, grumbling. Certainly an unpopular decision. And, the Pres repeated the statement. With clarification.

It was over the airwaves. But, I was off power, off air, off net.... This breaking news was history before I got to know it! When I did, I had to think and figure out. Not having the capacity of Trelwaney.  Certainly the pres spoke. But, was it the death knell to the Kill the Gay Bill? News reports were not so clear about that. But, some of the pundints were very, very clear. Death to the Bill, was happening.

But then. They are pundints. So, what do the Papers say?

First the New Vision. The government paper, which in the middle of this controversy has kept itself to more mundane matters. Orders from above, I believe.
Under the headline

"Museveni warns NRM on Homo bill"
Sigh, no reason to doubt the editorial slant of the NV on matters homosexual...

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has cautioned those advocating for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill to “go slow”, saying the matter was a sensitive foreign policy issue.
The President, while addressing the NRM national executive council meeting yesterday, said although Ugandans should not allow their values to be compromised, they should equally not move ahead with the issue recklessly.
 Museveni said he had been questioned about the bill by several foreign leaders, including the Canadian prime minister, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He said Clinton called him for over 45 minutes over the issue.
 “I told them that this bill was brought up by a private member and I have not even had time to discuss it with him. It is neither the Government nor the NRM party. It is a private member,” Museveni told the NRM meeting at State House Entebbe.
 “It is my judgment that our foreign policy is not managed just by some individuals. We have our values and our stand, historically and socially, but we need to know also that our partners we have been working with have their systems,” he added as members murmured in disapproval.
 Museveni narrated that the gay community in New York organised a rally and invited then President Bill Clinton.
 “In that rally, about 300,000 homosexuals attended. I challenge you. Who of you, MPs, has ever had a rally of 300,000 people, other than me? Even for me, it is not often that I get those numbers,” he said. 

The Cabinet, he added, had decided to call Bahati and discuss the bill with him.
 “This is a foreign policy issue and we have to discuss it in a manner that does not compromise our principles but also takes care of our foreign policy interest,” he said as the MPs shouted: “No, no, no!”
 He said when he talked to Hillary Clinton, he informed her that people come from Europe with money and woo young people into homosexuality.
 Museveni warned that those against development in Africa use this opportunity to de-campaign Uganda.
 He told the meeting that Uganda was due to host a conference of the International Criminal Court (ICC) but some people were opposed to the venue, arguing that Uganda was violating the human rights of gays. 
 Hey, the Pres has spoken. Bahati was on WBS, discussing the happenings. He was still defiant. The issue had not changed. He would be talking with the executive and parliament etc. The matter was not yet settled. True?

Maybe. And maybe not.

But, I note a few things. Thanks, guys and gals out there for the pressure on YOUR governments. If anything, those are the ones that are going to do the trick. The magnified 300,000 homos demonstrating in NY, Washington(?), see how distance does magnify things!, Thanks brothers and sisters for helping out this homo in Uganda when he is under threat. We cant hold such a demonstration...! Of course. But, we can say thanks, for your demonstration did work.

There is certainly pressure on the government to back down. Is it enough? I dont know. The President has backed back. Though not very decisively. Maybe. Lets watch and see...!

Buturo, and Ssempa are certainly not going to define the foreign policy of the country. That is one thing that I see clearly. Oh, for the last three months they were doing so. And, the government seemed to be paralysed in the decision making process. For that I am cautiously thankful.

Will the bill go away?

I dont know. But, I am certainly watching with bated breath.


PS. Just for laughs. Here is the Presidents prepared speech to the party meeting. Published in the New Vision. It seems as if the main talking point, the Bahati bill was certainly not in the prepared text! The remarks were completely off the cuff.


Van Law said...

From Hawaii with Aloha!

The gay rights movement is not isolated to one locale or one region; our opposition has mobilized globally. In response to the proposed Uganda law, I have written a Letter to the Editor to a Honolulu newspaper (see here:

That said, I hope you will all find it amicable to sign a petition to legalize civil unions in Hawaii. Although our struggle is not as great as our brothers and sisters in Uganda, it is a struggle we all share. We are looking for petition signers from all around the world.

Please sign here and pass it along:

AfroGay said...

This is over. There is going to be no gay bill tabled in Parliament. End of story.

Ssempa now needs to think of another strategy to make money off the backs of Ugandan homosexuals. This strategy has not worked.

Jean-Paul, Canada said...

As a Canadian who has never voted Conservative in my life, I am proud of our Prime Minister's intervention in this affair.

In my opinion, gay Ugandans can take a deep sigh of relief, but I would remain wary until American wackos like Scott Lively and Richard Cohen are forbidden to enter Uganda because of their insistence to incite hatred based on a complete ignorance of the tremendous psychological discoveries of the 20th century with regards to sexual orientation, not to mention a total misinterpretation of biblical passages written thousands of years ago to entertain a small group of desert nomads who believed the Earth was flat and recently "created" in seven days.

Of course I was impressed by President Museveni's speech, but is there a country in the entire world that has been cured of a mental illness called homophobia? Regardless, equal human rights will prevail; let's never doubt that.

Jean-Paul Bentham

gayuganda said...

Thanks all...

Just been watching NTV news update that Bahati says he is continuing with his bill... So, cant declare victory yet!

SGL Café.com said...

I'm thrilled with the international pressure. It's a step in the right direction. And I agree with Jean-Paul, human rights will always prevail in the end (though its sometimes a long, bloody battle).

Stay strong my brother ....

Anonymous said...

Strongs brother

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