Friday, April 14, 2023

Our Priorities as Ugandans


We, Ugandans, sincerely believe an Anti- Homosexuality bill will fix all our ills. That’s why our religious leaders were begging the President to sign the bill into law. [oh, of course he will do it. Little doubt of it] A light take on the issue here…!

We are concerned, a lot, with sexual sin. Our leaders can steal the country dry of money and any casual fastenings like mabaati, but sexual sin is so very bad. But believers concerned with sexual sin are bewildered at the singling out of homosexuality…! The listing of sexual chicanery [sin] here can only be ‘Made in Uganda’!

“We became deviants sexually through the sin of; fornication, adultery, incest, bestiality, necromancy, watching pornography, mastubation, wet dreams and more. Infact, even polygamy and polyandry, which were not in the original purpose of God, are so widely practised in Uganda today.”


“If only our parliament would show enough zeal in tackling the evils in our society which are equally destructive such as; official corruption in government, nepotism, torture of civillians, brutality of security forces civilians, repression of various forms and more and then legislate tough penalties for offenders, Uganda would truly be a better country.”

The laundry list of sexual evils to tackle is ‘tongue in cheek’, seems better to start with the easier one, homosexuality the clear and present danger!

This is something that is odd enough for me to wonder about. And blog about. Just a stream of thought nag. Our priorities as a country.

They seem so weird and odd.
I know Uganda has quite a number of proffesionals. Inside and outside the country. We are quite prideful, in the sense that to be ‘Ugandan’ is supposedly a sign of.., something?! Proud of our ‘education’. [Yes I know, that is a very hollow and shallow political emptiness. But pride is pride.]

Why are Ugandans so off the charts homophobic?

Why are we so interested in gay bashing?

Fact. There is a streak of puritanism that runs through quite a bit of the population. A fanatical streak bolstered by some of the political coalitions in the country. ‘Believers’ who cannot believe that anyone who believes any differently is worth of attention, or life and consideration for that matter. Religion is a hard task master and mistress.

And there’s the ‘powerlessness’ secondary to lack of political openness? No, that argument doesn’t seem enough. Too much of a ‘blame it on the circumstances’ variety of arguments!

Ugandans are very ‘liberal’ with regards to heterosexual sex.
Oh yes, the churches preach what they preach. But for example, a former head (Archbishop) of the Protestant church had another ‘unofficial family’. Polygamous, which is no big deal in the country, anathema in the Anglican Church! Of course when it became widely known, he was shamed. But, that is so common in Uganda that those who dare to say otherwise are just hypocrites. One Pentecostal pastor is a serial monogamist, divorcing and marrying, reportedly on his 7th bride. It is ‘well known’ but I haven’t been keeping good record! Another pastor, of the SALT media empire, is in a ‘customary marriage’ with his one wife, without having dissolved the previous marriage. The ex-lady denied a divorce? Anyway, he is bigamous, from the legal fiction side. And of course the ‘fathers’ of the Catholic church are known for their propensity at having quite a few children, despite the official celibate position. Politicians and other powerful people, men and women, have known lovers.., no problem.

In Ugandan society, those silly little heterosexual issues are regularly taken in step. They happen, even when they are denied officially.

When it comes to homosexuality there is official, and unofficial horror.

Fact. There is no real debate about homosexuality in Uganda. Only official gay bashing. Anyone who dares to speak on behalf of gay Ugandans is a ‘promoter’ or ‘recruiter’, and…

All sorts of craziness.

The point was priorities.
Why does my sexuality seem so important that fellow Ugandans are up in arms, ready to ‘go to war’ on the drop of an ecclesiastical hat? Fact, the current political regime has regularly taken advantage of that, even in the absence of any overt opposition to their statements on the ground. Its just good politics.

But why are Ugandans so gullible? So responsive? We were ripe, the hanging fruit for these right wing Americans. Ready to be picked, and goodness, we have been picked! And Museveni prides himself on being a ‘Pan African’ nationalist. To be duped into neo-colonialism, betrayed by ignorance and the dog whistle of homophobia!



Conversion ‘Therapy’ in the Anti-homosexuality bill 2023

When I realised the big role Family Watch International has been playing in the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023, I went back to comb the material for ‘conversion therapy’

Family Watch International are ideologues. Their concerns are very specific and their plank of remedies doesn’t change. They advocate for ‘conversion therapy’, insisting that LGBTQ people ‘can be healed’. There should be, and there must be opportunities offered for ‘conversion therapy’. Yes, it is quackery. And they cannot do it back in America. But, they are going to offer it as a platform to promote in poor, ignorant, bewildered, enthralled Africa. After all, it makes them look ‘concerned’ and not just full of hate.

The Inter-Religious Council in Uganda kicked off the anti-homosexuality bill on 15 Feb 2023 with the meeting reported here.

Amongst some very crazy, impractical, fascist recommendations by the dear religious leaders were some which tendered towards ‘conversion therapy. Check out this.

The Archbishop of Church of Uganda, Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu, who doubles as the chairperson of the IRCU, urged all religions to open centres to provide counselling and support to people who could have been involved in homosexuality.”

Going back to Asumani Basalirwa’s draft bill, I found this clause, under ‘Special Powers of the Court’

Part IV- Miscellaneous

15. Special Powers of Court

(1) The Court shall, in determining whether to impose a sentence of imprisonment for any related offences under this Act, have regard to the need for rehabilitating the person and may, order the Minister to facilitate the rehabilitation of that person in the length of the period of the sentence

(2) In assessing the need for rehabilitation, the court shall have regard to-

(a) evidence of past conduct and behaviour of the offender;

(b) character of the offender; and

(c) criminal record.

That sounds very suspiciously like an offer for ‘conversion therapy’ under duress of a prison sentence.

I am no lawyer. Just a very suspicious Ugandan kuchu. I know that quite a number of people are being offered ‘conversion therapy’ in Uganda.
Fact, Ugandan doctors are as homophobic as the rest of the population. And, not many of them have a clue with regards to what they should know about homosexuality and the purported cures. [I don’t have access to the final bill, so am not sure whether this section made it there]

Nevertheless, a Ugandan Canadian paediatrician in the diaspora had this article published in the Monitor. It was his experience and education, starting off as a basic ‘pathologically homophobic’ Ugandan, to a medic who can put his feelings aside for the sake of his patient. It is an informative, fascinating read, here. But, the paragraph i want is this;

“What we know is that homosexuality is not due to troubled family relationships, or “recruitment.” We also know that homosexuality is not “curable” through conversion or reparative therapy. First, you do not cure a non-disease. Second, conversion therapy is based on an unscientific assumption that people with a non-traditional sexual orientation, such as homosexuals, are psychologically damaged and that changing their sexual orientation will benefit not only the individual but also society. These so-called therapies, which are known to be performed in more than 60 countries, include counselling (some with verbal abuse and humiliation), prayers, psychiatric medications, hormone injections, aversion therapies where nausea-inducing medications are given alongside presentation of homoerotic stimuli, and application of electric shock to the brain, or to the hands and genitals. Other methods include exorcism, ritual cleansing through beating the patient, force-feeding or food deprivation, forced nudity, solitary confinement, hypnosis, and “corrective” rape. Besides lack of medical and scientific validity, so-called conversion therapy has potentially harmful physical and psychological consequences. It is inhuman, cruel, degrading and completely unjustifiable “treatment” that has absolutely no place in the ethical”

Gosh, talk of torture, in the name of curing what is not broken. But, that might be what is coming…



Thursday, April 13, 2023

Backlash in Kenya


Kenyan LGBTQ people won the affirmation of an important constitutional right on 24th Feb 2023. The right to associate.

It is important because of the fact that we Kuchus are a minority.
We are never going to be a majority, that is simple common sense.
It is true that our detractors promise that if we are allowed to be, in any particular way, we are going to somehow spread and make the country collapse. It is nonsense, but powerful nonsense which people believe.

Because they were not allowed to register, Kenyan kuchus couldn’t do these basic 

“Without formal registration the organization’s ability to operate is compromised. It cannot enter into basic contracts such as leasing premises or open bank accounts, and its ability to raise funds is curtailed”

The freedom to associate is also important because we are faced by considerable opposition by majorities in our countries, even in Kenya.

Anti-gay or anti-kuchu groups have some bizarre but powerful arguments that resonate with our unwary country mates.
They used to say we were not real African, foreign. Our visible presence negated that argument.
They claim we are against our own cultures, discounting the historical evidence of the presence of same sex sexualities in our shared African cultures.
They claim we are immoral and against religion; and fight to stop us being welcomed at Church and mosque. Co-religionists of Catholics  and Anglicans off the continent welcome kuchus, highlighting the fact that real debate is occurring within their own religions. But, they deny that of us, their country mates.
They claim we are anti-family, and fight tooth and nail to make sure we (kuchus) cannot form recognised families.
They want us to stay criminalised, and are angry when we meet to try to repeal the criminalisation.

Anti-gay, anti-kuchu forces are a clear and present threat to the pursuit of happiness to any LGBTQ Kenyan and African on the continent. And the only way that we can contend and contest the huge propaganda is to organise, to be able to associate and actually dent the negative messaging.

Just across the border in Uganda, the Uganda Homosexual Death bill is waiting presidential accent. The organising powers behind it are the coalition of religious figures in Uganda. They provided the impetus. They energised a not-reluctant parliament, and passed the bill in record time over a marathon session. Yes, the bill seeks to have kuchus in Uganda killed. And has other draconian provisions.

Queer Kenyans won a great pass, but it is important for you not to forget that the challenges might increase just because your opponents are energised.
Congratulations. You won great breathing space. Use it, and use it well! Because, as you well know, this bill is in your parliament.

Oh, the backlash has begun, of course exarcebated by what was happening across your border.
The struggle continues



Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Kenya’s ‘Family Protection’ Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Parliament

Kenyan MP George Kaluma journeyed to Uganda for that conference. The conference where Ms Sharon Slater schooled Africans on matters of African sovereignty, and Traditional Family Values. [Doesn’t it seem funny that someone needs to come from Arizona, US to school these poor Africans leaders about matters of family and African sovereignty?]

Pull back a second and wonder…, but, it is a matter of fact that the people who listened to the ‘Family Watch International’ came fired up. They came energised as foot soldiers to come and protect the ‘Family’ and assert our ‘Sovereignty’ which apparently are threatened. The Americans had given a passionate presentation!

Last week, Mr Kaluma went ahead and translated his lessons into action, the practical results the ‘Family Protection Bill’, which was offered up to the consideration of the Kenyan Parliament. The language in the bill is very familiar, but, it goes a step further. It is Family Watch International propaganda, undigested. American right stuff, which shouldn’t be out of place in so called ‘Bathroom bills’ in Florida and other states. Any American following their politics will be surprised at this language appearing in a bill in an African country.

“bill also seeks to ban Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in pre-primary, primary and secondary schools education programmes. He avers that the content teaches children masturbation, Abortion on demand parental information or consent, pornography, homosexuality, and LGBTQ and that they are trapped in the wrong body.
The bill if passed will uphold the prior rights of parents and guardians to their children’s education.”

That, that was a ‘copy and paste’ operation. That is in the bill that is currently in the Parliament of the Republic of Kenya.

This begs the question, has nobody talked to these willing pawns about what is happening? In Uganda, Dr Sylvia Tamale and Nicolas Opio seemed quite aware of what was happening. Check their comments in the Guardian about the conference on ‘Sovereignty and Family’, Of course, if you have any somewhat positive attitude to kuchus in our countries, then everything that you say is tainted. But still….! Dr Tamale called it a mix of ‘manipulative organisers and gullible participants’, and MP Kaluma proves her point. He took what was ‘taught’ by rote, copied and pasted it into his brain, and from thence into a bill for the National Parliament!

Talk of gullible participants. My own president was convinced that Africa was needed to save the world from homosexuality of course!

MP Kaluma’s ‘Family Protection Bill’ of course has the Family Watch International staple on anti-LGBTQ propaganda and presumed actions.

“It will also criminalize the promotion, recruitment, and funding of homosexuality and LGBTQ behavior.
defines “sex” as the biological state of being male or female observed and assigned at birth.
The MP also wants the state to limit rights to assembly, demonstration, association, expression, belief, privacy, and employment in childcare institutions in respect of homosexual convicts. The bill further prohibits adoption by homosexuals”

Wow, talk of a ‘hate bill’ all dressed up as ‘protection of the family’, for our ‘traditional values’

Most of this stuff is well presented in the Southern Poverty Law report on Family Watch International. No wonder they label FWI a hate group. But, it is more that a hate group. It is a group of proselytizing fanatics determined to bring their vision of America to Africa. They have been suffering series of defeats in the US. In Uganda, Kenya and the rest of Africa, when they dress up issues as ‘Family Values’, ‘Traditional Values’, ‘Sovereignty’ and other catch phrases, our politicians lap it up, not actually having an understanding of what they are hearing. The cultural imperialism is camouflaged, blamed on we, African kuchus, while the real imperialist cozen with our leaders, political and religious.



Monday, April 10, 2023

Kenya, Kenyan Kuchus and the Right to Organise


It seemed like a small thing, a small issue, nothing to really cry home about, or.., to cause any fracas. A group of Kenyans wanted to form a legally recognised group, to advocate for things that concerned them.
The group proudly wanted to name themselves the Kenyan National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC). Very proud name.

The registrar was tipped off by the ‘Gay’ and ‘Lesbian’ words in the name. The registration was denied. Reason given? 

“In 2012, Eric Gitari, the former Executive Director of NGLHRC, challenged the Kenya NGO Coordination Board’s refusal to allow him to apply for registration of an NGO under a name containing the words “gay” or “lesbian””

          At the High Court in 2015, the judges ruled in his favour. The case was appealed, and again the ruling was in his favour at the Court of Appeal in 2019.

A final appeal to the Supreme Court was done.
The contention was that ‘criminalised’ people shouldn’t have a right to associate. And the answer has been emphatic, even from a divided court.

“The Supreme Court of Kenya on Friday, February 24 (2023) ruled that the NGO Board’s decision to bar homosexuals from forming recognised groups is discriminatory”

A ten years journey. Multiple courts, all returning the same singular verdict.

“registration was not about the moral and religious views of Kenyans, since the constitution does not set a limit of rights.
"Every person has the right to freedom of association, which includes the right to form, join or participate in the activities of an association of any kind," the judges ruled, quoting Article 36 of Kenya's constitution.”

Kuddos to the Kuchus of Kenya. That was a fight well fought. It cannot have been easy. Sweat, toil, money. Commitment. Just to affirm a right other Kenyans enjoy as a matter of course. Congratulations, indeed.

It is the response from non-gay Kenyans that was most damning. It is summed up in ‘HOW DARE THEY?!’

“In order to protect Kenyans and respect the Constitution, KCCB members call on the Supreme Court to review its ruling and overturn the decision. “We insist that the Supreme Court of Kenya reviews this ruling,”
says the Kenya Christian Proffesionals’ Council

          The sky is falling down!!!
“Seeks to destroy life”: Catholic Bishops in Kenya “the continuity of humanity is put at risk by homosexual acts.”

          Kenya's First Lady Rachel Ruto has declared national prayers against homosexuality in the country, declaring the practice as a threat to the institution of the family.”

Politicians were hardly less restrained.

          The Vice President Rigathi Gachagua has reiterated the East African nation's long-standing decision not to“condone” same-sex relations.”

President Ruto kind of brushed it off; ‘homosexuality and issues around it were, however, not a 'real issue' for ordinary Kenyans as compared to issues of unemployment and hunger.’

The judges nailed the objections on the head. The Kuchus are Kenyans. They have the constitutional right to meet. That right doesn’t depend on the moral and religious objections of other Kenyans. It is as simple as that.

Of course it is not that simple. The struggle continues. Kenyan Kuchus have to actualise their win, and strengthen their work on their own behalf. Because the anti-gay forces are energised.



Children committing Homosexuality in Uganda


We Ugandans have taken the art of hypocrisy to dizzying heights. All appearances, little concrete, no bone. And when the appearances mask the reality of what we are doing, that is very ‘Ugandan’.

A too honest account in one of our papers; 

“We live in times when the Executive cannot deny bribing legislators, and when top politicians think that stealing is all right if the stolen money or goods are invested locally or used to bribe voters.”

That is matter of fact, our political and moral corruption exceeds expectations, always. Yet we happen to have quietly exceeded even those expectations in the Homosexuals Death Bill, 2023.

In the draft of the bill, presented by Asumani Basalirwa, he was poetic;

Principles of the Bill

(d) protecting children and youth…

That messaging has been consistent. They [legislators, political leaders, church leaders, mosque leaders; anyone jumping on the bandwagon] is doing it for the sake of the children…

During the marathon session in parliament on 21st March 2023, it was decided to be very specific with children who commit the acts of ‘homosexuality’ as defined by Ugandans. They are very evil children, these children. They need to be punished, for their temerity in committing acts of homosexuality.

The honourable members of parliament amended the text to include 3 years imprisonment for the offence of Homosexuality [Ugandan definition]

3 years, in one of Uganda’s prisons, for the offence of homosexuality.

I don’t believe any of our fat cat, millionaire and billionaire MPs have an inkling of what it means to be a prisoner in one of our prisons, without the protection of their wealth and high offices.

About a week or two after the passage of bill in Uganda’s parliament, these three children were released from remand prison in Gulu, in the north of Uganda.
They were arrested last year on suspicion of cattle rustling. They are of the Karimojong ethnic group. They were assessed as children. They were involuntary guests of the ‘state’. These children were on ‘remand’, not convicted of any crime. And this is what they looked like, on release. One of them is reported to have died, soon after release. 


The article in Ankole Times. The pic circulated on social media, Ugandan circles for a bit. With requisite ooohhs, and aaaaahs.

Those, those are the prisons to which our fat cat legislators are condemning our children, caught in homosexual acts, convicted of homosexuality in Uganda.
Yes, us adults convicted would be imprisoned for life. And, if we are not reformed afterwards, it will be Death Row. Life in prison and death, for all homosexuals in Uganda. A Final Solution?

That pic reminds me of victims of Hitler’s Concentration Camps. Maybe our legislators’ unstated aim is to kill us off, to have a clean, homosexual free Uganda. Well, they stated it. In a round about way.

prohibiting any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex

What is more ‘prohibitive’ than winking and encouraging our prisons to become concentration camps to legislatively kill off all identified homosexuals?

Hyperbole? Exaggeration? Simple politicking? I wish I was. I really wish I was just doing that. But, the provisions and totality of Asumani Basalirwa’s Bill, and as amended in Uganda’s parliament are genocidal, of. Lessons from Hitler, suitably refined, for Uganda’s environment.

President Museveni will sign it of course, ‘for the good of the children’ and to show Uganda’s leadership as Africa saves the world from homosexuality.




Sunday, April 9, 2023

America's Cultural Wars: Frontline Africa


America’s Cultural Wars.

Poor gay Ugandans, we are victims, collateral damage, in an ideological war that we know very little about. That war explains quite a bit of the homophobia current in the country Uganda, and on the continent, Africa.

American Cultural Wars.
I don’t remember when I first heard the term. I am no expert on what precisely it means, and never having lived on that continent, I can only surmise from being a conspicuous consumer of information.

I know on one side are proselytizing ideologues. The ideas that concern them above everything else are: being anti-abortion, being anti-LGBTQ+, and anti-contraception. Am probably missing other identifying characteristics. Outside the US, their watch words are ‘traditional’, ‘family’, ‘sovereignty’, possibly more.

On the other, so called progressives; asserting a woman’s right to decisions about her body, and affirmation for LGBTQ+ individuals. Anything else?

Major battleground is America. But, the world is huge. And the whole world is rich and ripe for ideologues of any shape and shade.

The African Frontline, of the American cultural wars.
An apt, very apt summary of what is apparent.
In the US, Kuchus are kuchus, as they have been world over, present, visibly so; not only tolerated but embraced. Apparently one major political party embraces them more than the other, but both major political parties do.
Whatever Americans complain about their education system, it has produced a populace which can examine and fleck off haters. Some issues like who your neighbour beds in his house are hardly world shaking, even when a ‘missionary’ on your doorstep tries to prove to you otherwise.

Africa has a huge, ballooning population. A very young, uneducated population, in the throes of cultural change, flowing off the continent in waves. But, there are a lot of Africans. And the population growth is exponential. [Odd, but I believe the Cultural warriors on the right, though anti-contraception, are also most likely anti-immigration...!!]
Largely uneducated, responsive to a brand of Christianity that we call ‘balokole’ in Uganda; Pentecostalism- fundamentalist, basic, relying on charismatic leaders of all shades.

Uganda, and Africa in general is experiencing a re-emergence of this fundamentalism in religion.
And, our preachers have been making regular trips to America. They speak in quasi ‘American South’ accents, the word ‘god’ not spoken with the usual Ugandan –oo- sound, but the American South –aaa- sound, on our TVs.
They go to America to fundraise, and bring in the cash in the mighty dollars, that our poorest find so alluring.

Battle ground Uganda.
The Anti-Homosexuality bill was passed in parliament. It was passed on 21st March 2023. Within seven days, the American Cultural warriors had organised a party to celebrate. Invited people from all over Africa; members of parliament-  because on the African frontline, Uganda is just one battle field.
Yeah, they needed to counter the thinking that the war is won. And they needed the President to be convinced, to sign the law, of course. They did that, apparently, though it was foregone conclusion. That is when he called on Africa to ‘savethe world from homosexuality’. They were very convincing, the ‘Family Watch International’ Their leader, Ms Sharon Slater even met with the Uganda’s First Lady, and Mrs Museveni tweeted about it, sounding pleased! 

Next battle ground-
The rest of Africa; Ghana has such a bill in its parliament. Not seen as ‘urgent’ as the Ugandan one, but, not a bad idea to urge them on. US Vice President Kamara Harris has been in Africa, so, why not send out a word to those countries that she visited, to shore up opposition a little bit? And it is always a good thing to re-empasize the message. One of the Kenyan MPs who attended the meeting in Uganda has already filed a bill, in Kenya’s parliament. 


In Tanzania, NGOs are being accused of ‘promoting homosexuality’ in a ‘spontaneous report detailing a ‘Tanzania without homosexuality’. Ms Slater must be very pleased, with her trip to darkest Africa. From America with love indeed!!

The message?
Abortion is not such a good message in Africa. It is illegal on most of the continent. Old colonial laws. Concern is not that much. But, sometimes American messaging slips out. And the Catholic church is responsive on that topic.
Homosexuality resonates. Homosexuality is ‘un-African’, it is a matter of ‘African Culture’, a matter of preserving ‘traditional family’. Homosexuality destroys ‘the family’.

Most resonant;
Homosexuals are ‘recruiting’. They are recruiting your children. It is a clear and present danger, and you have to act now.

And, a kick back to ‘home, US’ politics, since the current federal government is not of their party persuasion; the US government is ‘promoting homosexuality’ in the guise of human rights. As we want to kill off our homosexuals, they are ‘blackmailing’, and assaulting ‘African sovereignty’. Kamala Harris’ trip was taken as proof [ahem, nothing to do with countering China and Russia!]

Frankly, we could do without that kind of love. But, Frontline Africa in the American Cultural Wars is moving, at quite a pace.