Saturday, June 24, 2023

2 Popular Ugandan, and African Parsing of Homophobia


This is a 3 part reply to an article written by one, Mathew Otieno, a Kenyan, published on a . This is Part 2.


Mr Otieno also commented on the various ‘threats’ supposedly made by the US.

I am a Ugandan, living and working in Uganda. Over the last 5 months, news has been rife with so-called threats. Most were not threats but assessments of possible results of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023. It is politically expedient by Ugandan politicos to label them ‘threats’.

For example, the US is spending millions of US dollars annually in the HIV program for research, prevention and treatment. This is at risk, because of the broad provisions of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023, with a reporting mandate of homosexuals to police, protecting ‘whistle-blowers’.
With Ugandan officials angrily denying any connection between the Anti-Homosexual legislation and Health programming, the US embassy had to, and did secure an assertion from President Museveni that health workers were not to report homosexuals to police. Only after that were funds released.
Shameful, yes. A comedy of errors, all self defeating, own goals scored by Uganda. Accusation of ‘blackmail’, ‘bullying’ by the US were bandied around. Our leaders were shamelessly claiming ignorance.., unfeigned.

Another instance of bullying and threats, as reported widely, embraced by politicos in Uganda was international companies pointing out that the legislation was bad for business.  Their concerns are valid. Facebook was banned in Uganda, after a tiff off, 2 years ago with Museveni’s government. Potentially falling foul of this law as ‘promotion of homosexuality’ is something the tech giants in ‘Open for Business’ have to consider seriously. That is, if they still want to do business in Uganda.

After the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 became law in Uganda, another widely reported instance of ‘bullying’ was noted in the Ugandan press and by Ugandan politicians and anti-gay advocates, an updated US travel advisory.
The responsible thing to do.., not a ‘threat’ or punishment, as conveniently assessed by Ugandan politicos. Of course it was totally predictable. The US has LGBTQ+ citizens, and it informs and admits responsibility to them.

And, it is stupid to think that Uganda, dependant on tourism, would attract LGBTQ+ visitors. That is not a threat. It is matter of fact logic and sense. Better, as Uganda Parliament’s public relations official smugly put it, ‘not to be gay in Uganda’.

The Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023 is the law in Uganda. Its possible and probable results to tourism, business investment and others are logical, until politicos feel the need to claim heroic resistance to racism and colonialism and run to media reporting being threatened, as MP Peter Kaluma is doing in Kenya.



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