Unwanted witness Uganda
Barely three days after Parliament voted to pass a controversial piece of legislation that criminalizes and provides for life imprisonment to any person convicted of engaging in homosexual act, the Ugandan gay community has lashed out at Parliament, calling on President Museveni not to assent to it into an enforceable law, saying that if the President signs it, he will have granted “discrimination” against a section of Ugandans, which contravenes the Constitution.
Addressing the press at the Grand Global Hotel in Makerere, a Kampala suburb, the community’s spokesman, Mr. Julian Pepe Onziema, described Parliament’s act a “harsh treatment of Ugandans” saying that the August House is full of “idiots who pass idiot laws”.
It should be noted that the piece of legislation which Parliament passed on December 20 amidst a protest from the Ugandan premier Amama Mbabazi on grounds of lacking quorum, bans and criminalizes homosexuality, lesbianism and wearing of scant dresses, with a maximum life imprisonment in jail, upon on conviction.
The celebrated African traditionalists, religious leaders and various anti-homosexuality sections, hailed the passage of the act, describing it as a “Christmas gift” to the believers and Ugandans.
However, the Sexual Minorities Uganda under their umbrella [SMWA]which brings all gays in Uganda have ganged together to criticize the act, amidst raising concerns that if Museveni goes on to sign it into a law, it will have some effects as far as development is concerned
“This act of Parliament if signed by Museveni, it will have an impact on our development because it will be scaring away a number of tourists yet Uganda is known to be such a beautiful destination for tourists, boasting of rivers, animals among other things” Kasha Jacqueline a renowned lesbian said.
She further cautioned Government that “This act, sounds an alarm for a possible withdrawal of aid from donors” she said, advising Parliament to concentrate on “fighting more evils like corruption, than risking losing aid”.
It is noteworthy that donors finance Uganda budget by over 25%.
The gay community has threatened to drag government into courts of law should Museveni sanctions a stringent piece of legislation against them to become a law.
“We all know that the supreme law of the land which is the constitution caters for all of us. If President signs this law, we will seek remedy from the courts which we hope that will listen to us” said Kasha.
“Uganda’s supreme law, criticize the segregation against gender, faith, sexuality, race, among other things but Parliament didn’t care about it” she added.
Pepe Onzima, strengthened Kasha’s argument when he said, “I am a little optimistic, that as a gay community, we will continue to live side by side and we are asking for tolerance because we are all your children”
Living in fear
With Uganda’s stringent attacks on homosexuality, the gay community lamented their ordeal, saying that they are now living in enormous fear, each day, with a terrible rebuke from the society, who dubbed the community’s practice it “western culture, and evil”.
It is worthy to remember that early 2011, Ugandan Gay activist, David Kato, was harshly killed amidst his pleading for the “western culture” and a police report regarding the inquest into his death has not been released up to now.