Yesterday, the prolonged time for making it illegal to be homosexual or gay in the Ugandan Republic came into effect. This was passed in Parliament and was a part of the new Sexual Offences Act of 2019. This has been in the making since the early drafts in 2014. However, the attack on people’s love-life is just the beginning of the oppression in the Republic.
The same-sex persons and gay-community in Uganda is small and disfranchised already. There been cases of people going into exile and claiming to be gay to get visa’s in the Western Hemisphere. Therefore, this is far from new and is a continued problem. As well, as the Police have had crackdowns on gathering and rainbow meetings.
Well, they are meeting the same blunt force all dissidents are getting. The political freedoms are limited. The dissidents and people who are against the regime is targeted. The state is going after, using all means to silence the opposition. They cannot have rallies, meetings or even do internal party work without meeting security organizations. Radio shows are blocked, venues sealed off and so fourth.
The opposition are abducted, kept incommunicado, detained without charges, arraigned in court martial as civilians, held in ungazetted safe-houses, tortured and even killed. The state is using all of its security organizations to brutally get rid of the ones who oppose its reign. This is the aim of the state… and what they do. It is reported and stated. They are targeting civilian activists, killing civilians during demonstrations and random bystanders are hit by “stray-bullets” too.
I feel bad for the homosexuals and the gays. They deserve to love whoever they love. That shouldn’t be criminalized. Nevertheless, like in early 2014 and 2015, I called it wrong to just point at this and I still do. Because, the wrongs done to them is a systemic default of the current state. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) is targeting dissidents and people who oppose it. Therefore, them going after the same-sex lovers is just following the same programming. Giving them ten years in prison for doing so.
The state is already attacking such big groups and everyone who gathers in spite of His Excellency (H.E). The NRM can use the army, security organizations and the police force to silence the opposition.
When the state have re-issued the ills of previous regimes. Giving the “Panda Gari’s” a second life. Ensuring to strike fear to anyone who oppose the old man with the hat. The Special Force Command, CMI, ISO, UPF and UPDF are all collecting individuals who they deem fit. They are taking without proper procedure or within the bounds of the law. While the civilians who is taking in have to follow the same law. That is the reality of the oppression in the state.
So, the whole state needs to be reformed. Not just revoking the stipulation in the Sexual Offences Act. There is a need to change how the state operates … and create another atmosphere. The current regime doesn’t value, liberty or freedom of anyone else than the ones who is anointed by the state. The rest can just linger in detention, get re-charged and re-arrested. These folks can get tortured and possibly killed as well on the watch of the regime. There is not mercy and only sinister approach to justice.
It is injustice and impunity on a high scale. The same-sex/gays are just a populist fitting target to shallow the lack of results of this state. To follow up on a old promise and not really do anything to create a better nation or steady progress. This is what the guys believes is securing your future. They are putting people in bracelets and screaming “democracy”. You cannot make this one up, but that is the reality of it all. Peace.
Since 2014 there been a running act and planned effort to make homosexuality illegal. The National Resistance Movement and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni have done as a populist move to regain trust among the faithful people of the Republic. This is to galvanize the conservative Christians and Muslims.
In one of the last sessions of the 10th Parliament there was several of acts passed. One of them was the Sexual Offences Act of 2019. Where there is one stipulation and its very clear with the intent. The state is making it a crime and criminalize it.
The law now has been part of two terms, the 9th and 10th Parliament. It needed all those years to come to pass. The state just enacted at with many other things that makes sense. The rest of bill is sensible and uses common sense.
What the state have no made illegal, which is the anti-gay stipulation of the bill.
“11. Unnatural offences.
A person who-
(a) performs a sexual act with another person contrary to the
order of nature; or
(b) engages in a sexual act with an animal;
commits an offence and is liable on conviction, to imprisonment for
ten years” (Sexual Offences Bill, 2019).
That this happened wasn’t shocking. It was inevitable. Now that the President and his party done this in majority is because they know they won’t loose donor funds or anything. The state is already under fire for other political actions and electioneering of late. The NRM and Museveni knows that their standing is losing elsewhere.
That the anti-gay bill is commenced within 7 years shows the resilience and does it in the final minute of the Parliament. They are not having huge discussions or anything. It is just passed in the middle of 7 bills is one of its Final Acts of the 10th Parliament.
They have made it illegal to be gay and if someone have sex with the same gender. That will be criminalized as an unnatural offences, which can be charged with imprisonment up to ten years. They are doing it now because nobody cares and the human rights violations are already catching up. The state is already using the security organizations to apprehend the political dissidents and secure the majority for the 11th Parliament.
I’m not surprised that this happened. It was inevitable, but that its happening now makes sense. As the 10th Parliament is going out with an bang and finally showing they can pass legislation. Not only approve loans, which have been the most important part of their duties of late.
The bill has been in the progress since 2014 and was finally passed on the 3rd May 2021, Monicah Amoding who wrote this and got it into the Parliamentary Library on the 27th November 2019. It only took about 1,5 years for this to be passed. Still, there been drafted legislation for this since 2014 … and means the state awaited 7 years to make it happen.
To make it illegal to be gay is just winning over some part of the community. While taking away their freedoms and liberties. They are doing this as simple populism and cheap politics. It doesn’t cost them a thing and they have made certain sort of sexual preferences illegal. That being same-sex acts, which only can been as “unnatural offences”. This is how I see this and that’s the mere fact of it all. Now, it just awaits Presidential Ascending and it’s official law of the Republic.
It is sad, though the whole regime is delivering atrocities and horrific acts against the ones who stands in their way. So, now they just have another minority to criminalize as well. Peace.
I wish there was more worried voices, when the President John Pombe Magufuli censored radio stations. When he used time and efforts to silence journalists and newspapers. I wish there was more voices when he got bloggers and social media personalities to stop and pay higher taxes. I wish there was more worried voices when the opposition and activists was behind bars. These has all happen within a year time. Still, that haven’t catched much flack or buzz. Nearly nothing has scratched the surface.
This proves the government and the totalitarian ways of Magufuli and the Chama Cha Mapinduzi. Magufuli (CCM) wants all the love and no criticism. That is just the way that man is, he is certainly not getting a big enough boost at home, so he has to build his confidence at the public office. That seems to be the thing.
You know that this government is going overboard, when big-stars and musicians are getting their songs blocked from being played on the radio. One celebrity was unlucky and got her sex-tape leaked. In other countries that would have been PR Boast and ratings special, but in Tanzania. She got a meeting with the law. Therefore, this state is already unfair. As the person was a victim of a personal files and tapes being leaked. Not that she was starting a personal porn-hub.
That is why I am bit mad today. I have a deja vu’. Had the same feeling when the Anti-Gay Bill was ushered in Uganda a few years back. Instead of looking at the systemic reasons for the default law, the oppression and the acts of impunity against the public from the NRM. The public outcry and from foreign donors was against that one simple bill. Even if the bill is spiteful and morally bankrupt. The ones crying out loud, should enforce their vision to whole society and the whole system built around the President. Instead of looking at one minority, they should wonder and look at all the people looked up for their political activism. However, that train has never arrived and still isn’t.
That is why I know today’s plea, is a fart in the wind. But let’s be clear. The Anti Gay Monitoring Unit of Tanzania isn’t a policy. It is a bad idea, but so is everything else I have mentioned. It is only a fresh day or two, since the ACT Wazalendo Chairman Zitto Kabwe was freed from prison. Another political suspect and been detained a lot lately has been Tindu Lissu. So, it is not like there is free space and freedom in the first place.
Even on the 26th April 2018, on the Union Day, as the Opposition planned rallies. The cities and towns was under a military siege. As the President didn’t want anyone to be dissidents. However, the rallies didn’t happen and was more of ghost-towns. Therefore, the President didn’t get any rallies against him, but neither get a noble celebration of the Union of the Republic.
That the EU and USA are reviewing their relationship with Tanzania now is a bit bitter to me. Why didn’t it matter, that opposition and MPs got into trouble with the law? Why didn’t it matter that the media houses was closed and lost license for while? Why didn’t the rights matter, when bloggers and social media personalities lost their freedom and space?
But now the LGBT is in trouble, then your start screaming and shouting. You see how dumb it looks? You didn’t even flinch when the same government suspended girls who got pregnant, therefore, all girls are getting twice a year checked by the school. To ensure that they are not. Therefore, teenage girls are in trouble if they are pregnant before their ending schooling.
That is why I have trouble with the scrutiny today. Not that is deserved, as the supposed crackdown on the LGBT community in Tanzania is bad, but you should have seen it coming with all the other measures done by the Magufuli regime and his ways. Where he is acting as the lovely kingpin, who can even tell how woman are supposed to dress. That is why this was coming to you, but you didn’t mind the other things he did. But you start bitching when he goes after the LGBT.
You should have cared much sooner, now your late. These reforms was a slow-train coming. It was bound to happen. He gotten away with much bad in the past and now took it to another level. You accepted the others. But didn’t review it over the suspensions and closing of media houses. Off arresting MPs and Opposition leaders, you didn’t stop him from enforcing strict laws and levying high taxes on publications, social media and such. No, just let him be, without fearing his actions. However, now that he went for a group of this stature. Your reacting!
Sorry, but your late. Time to take actions for all, not just the LGBT. That is if, if you care about the human rights. Because you didn’t care, when one fell, but now they fall. You are kicking and screaming. Peace.
Joseph Szlavik and his lobby firm in Washington D.C. are using his close-connected network in the Senate and the House, to trade secrets and interference of knowledge from not so favorable sources. The Scribe Strategies and Advisors are have certainly no scruples in their dealings. As the vast funding from Republic’s and their leadership. Proves that he can bought by anyone who opens their check-book. There is no story he cannot open and abuse, to make sure that his company earns fortunes.
Therefore, be aware that certain connected journalists has been touched by this lobbyist like the Sioban O’Grady, who has had interviews interconnected on several occasions during the last year. As well as Kevin Kelley in Daily Nation, who has been used as tools for the agenda of the Lobbying firm.
Promotes the cause of CNDD-FDD:
This lobbying company has a long history in Burundi, as they have wanted to retain the company as far back on 12 December 2005, when Minister of External Relations and International Cooperation Antoinette Batungbwira wrote a credible praise and wanted to extend their work together.
The government of Burundi, had the funds and the ability to push their agenda in Washington D.C. during the 2015-2016 as their noble lobbyist Joseph Szlavik, signed his earnings to the proper American authorities. On 10th November 2015, the CNDD-FDD paid the lobbyist $ 59,980.00, as he was also paid on the 5th February 2016 $ 60,000.00 and on 25th April 2016 $ 92,230.00. Also, his fees continued as on the 8th August 2016 got $ 90,000.00 and 19th December 2016 the total salary $ 60,000.00.
The lobbyist has during the 2 year period earned astonishing $ 362,000.00!
The CNDD-FDD could afford to pay a man to spread their message and play after their tune in the congress and senate! This shows the power of the monies, as the lobbyist himself explained his position and what he did to earn this amount of money: “Registrant (Scribe Strategies & Advisors) counseled and advised the Government of Burundi on U.S. Policy and informed congressional and executive branch officials and staff and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on development in Burundi, and promoted relations between the United States and Burundi. Registrant provided public relations support and strategies to the Government of Burundi” (13.04.2017 – NSD/FARA Registration Unit).
“Registrant (Scribe Strategies & Advisors) arranged for Foreign Minister Alain Nyamitwe to speak at the Atlantic Council on June 22, 2015 and on the VOA’s “Straight Talk Africa” on June 23, 2015, and Newsmax TV on June 24, 2015, about recent political developments in Burundi; arranged for presidential spokesman Willy Nyamitwe to speak to the Atlantic Council on January 22, 2016, and on the VOA’s “Straight Talk Africa” on January 20, 2016, and on France24 TV on January 21, 2016, all of the topic of the recent developments in Burundi” (03.03.2016 – NSD/FARA Registration Unit).
Promote the cause of the NRM:
The Government of Uganda and their Foreign Affairs has used the same man to pursuit their agenda in Washington D.C. as they paid the man on the 5th May 2016 $ 62,500.00. In 2015 they also paid him well for the help of spreading the message of Foreign Minster Kuteesa on the 24th June 2015 paid $ 55,200.00, also $ 69,800.00 on 7th August 2015 and on 9th December 2015 $ 64,535.11. The Government of Uganda totally paid the amount $ 250,000.00 to the lobbyist over 2 years!
“Registrant (Scribe Strategies & Advisors) arranged for Foreign Minister Sam Kuteesa to appear on Voice of America program. “Straight Talk Africa” September 16, 2015; the topic was Kutesa’s tenure as President of the United States General Assembly; also arranged for Kutesa to speak at the Atlantic Council on September 15, 2015, on the same topic” (03.03.2016 – NSD/FARA Registration Unit).
That the company uses their reach and their messages as back in day, in 2015, when Scribe Strategies and Advisors, they used Kevin J. Kelley to write a piece in the Daily Nation:
“Mr Szlavik noted that his firm did have a contract about 10 years ago to lobby for Uganda in the US. In accordance with that deal, Mr Szlavik explained, Scribe sought to persuade the Bush administration to list the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Alliance of Democratic Forces as terrorist organisations. The US does designate the LRA and ADF in that way” (…) “Earlier this year, Mr Szlavik added, he discussed with Uganda’s ambassador in Washington the possibility of Scribe again doing lobbying work for Uganda in the United States. But no agreement has been made, Mr Szlavik said. “There’s no contract, no numbers, no payment,” he declared” (Kelley, 2015).
There should be discussion and counsel going on as just a brief month after the interview and article in the Daily Nation, the company earned about $ 60,000 paid by the Ugandan government. So the company knew all about it in 2015, but wanted to spin the news and their role.
The Company was more upfront about their role in spinning the news for Burundi, as the Scribe Lobbying firm in 2015, addressed matters close to the heart of government of Burundi and again, they used their fellow journalist in the Daily Nation:
“The allegations by Joseph Szlavik, head of Scribe Strategies & Advisors, followed reports of fighting between government troops and an unidentified armed group near Burundi’s border with Rwanda” (…) “Mr Szlavik noted in an interview with the Nation that the Burundian leader’s right to run for re-election had been affirmed in May by the country’s Constitutional Court” (…) “Western powers call for respect for the rule of law, and this was the ruling by the Constitutional Court of Burundi,” Mr Szlavik said” (Kelley, 2015).
So Szlavik, the man paid by the Government was clearly knowingly keeping it cool with Burundian authorities, not only spreading their agenda, but also their motives to keep power. Using the tools of legislation and not addressing the grievances of the people demonstrating at the time. Therefore, showing that the ones feeding him was more important than actual justice. That they also, this used the fellow friend in the Daily Nation, show’s how systematic the Scribe Strategies and Advisors work in the East African region.
This is just a quick look into the matter and not really digging deep into the polishing tricks of the company and their employees, as their staff and connections into the House and Senate in the United States was massive. The role to play and their reasoning as the paychecks from CNDD-FDD and NRM comes, they easily comply with the methods and needs from Bujumbura and Kampala. With no care of the implications and ramifications to the innocent in Burundi nor Uganda. Certainly, this is blood-money and I hope they are cursed. Peace.
Kelley, Kevin J. – ‘US lobbying firm denies Uganda is currently a client’ (01.04.2015) link:http://www.africareview.com/news/US-lobbying-firm-denies-Uganda-is-currently-a-client/979180-2672786-3ti6at/index.html
Kelley, Kevin J. – ‘Burundi claims Rwanda aiding rebels’ (13.07.2015)
Let me ride on the Western Hemisphere for it’s care for the LGBT people in Uganda while letting all kind of other oppressive behaviour happen without any cost or any repercussion. I am sorry to all you western government officials that support the LGBT case. They are all people equal under God. Just as you and me. I have nothing against the LGBT cause or that the LGBT men and woman deserves to screw they want to screw. But distinguish that from the matter at hand. I will discuss the real Equal freedom and justice; that means a governing system that is for Besigye or Mwenda; not just for Mwenda and Opondo, but not for Turinawe.
So let me address you clearly as the National Resistance Movement and their ruling regime under President Museveni have become more and more draconian. The rules of law have lesser value as the regime is more inherent corrupted with the arms, tear-gas and anti-riot Police then actual democratic values. So when you have a system where the Militarized Police Force, Militarized Politics and Army Programs into the Civil Society then the guns are controlling all parts of arenas that the society should lead. So that the Western Hemisphere and international community turns a blind eye to that proves the double standard.
That there is an problem with “the Prohibition of Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices Bill” – 29th October 2014”. Certainly it must be because the United States can have states like Virgina and such with equally astonishing laws, but not duplicated the heat or massive creations of unlawful bashing. So there are issues with these laws as the LGBT is in this narrative a minority in Uganda. A minority of many, but why complain and make issues with that one minority when the general population is oppressed by a militarized regime? Is that because the NRA of USA is so powerful that a gun-loving president (Former NRA turned NRM) in Africa is cool and flashing AK-47 in Rwenzori is amazing, but him creating bad laws against a minority is overboard.
That a country of 39 million citizens had one Cobalt 60 Teletheraphy Machine at Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) broke down at Mulaga Hospital Kampala two weeks ago or so. While there about 17,000 Cancer sick that need treatment, but there none for them in the country. The international world isn’t doing much. Instead the rich Aga Khan and his Aga Khan Hospital offers 400 patients treatment in Nairobi, Kenya, so there are no opportunity in Uganda. That does not create a stir, which is another minority of people who are sick and in dire need of treatment. That is the same country that has mismanaged international funding to the health care through the Global Funds has been squandered away. The same health care system has X-Ray Machine broken down in Butabika Hospital and other meagre resources and machines at Hospitals that are decaying around the country. So it is okay that President Museveni and the NRM neglect the sick and dying.
The same with up-country Primary Schools where the walls are thin and rain-water flows in and the bricks are shredded. Where the payments of teachers are always late and underfunded as the rate has not gone up for years even with the steady levels of the neglect while the donor-funding and programs towards schools since UPE launch that was ushered in 1996. But the now steady report of dwindling county schools and the standard of facilities seem to be planned. As it is district by district, not a one place issue and more broad issue amongst the country. This is just an issue that matters for the kid’s education and their platform for their future. But the Western media and the Western donors will not put this on blast.
That the Police Force is so involved into politics embedded in the ways that they follows the oppositions, close down their consultations meetings and rallies. The Police Force follows and tag’s the opposition leaders. The Police Force detains opposition members and stop opposition celebrations even when the opposition complies with draconian laws of the state. That is not an issue that creates havoc. This oppressive behaviour from the Police Force towards the Opposition can happen without any clear questions or stop of funding them from abroad.
So the issues are bigger then the “Anti-Gay” bill as the nation is built around the President and his elite. This happens while the rest of people might get detained without questions and without charges. Therefore I feel it is wrong that the international organizations and international media focus alone on this issue. As that is a drop in the sea. The Corruption, the bribes, the embezzlement and the ruin of government institutions should be more in focus and sustain a healthy living for the citizens. The framework of the lawful society is far away. With the current Police State and the current arrest of democracy is more haste to fix.
To reinstate the issue of the bill from 2014 is to deflect the grand issues and the mortality of the current affairs. The ways that people are muffled and silenced in general should be more worrying. The way the army and Police are used as strict tools of oppression and the Parliament writing off more and more money to them instead of being representatives of the citizens. That is where the focus should be. Especially since the donor-funding is 20% of the direct donor budget funding of Government of Uganda. That the NRM will spend on the State House, the farm of the President, new Private Plane and cars, not on the services of government that is expected.
So if the Parliament of Uganda under Rebecca Kadaga puts this up again, then it’s in a way to put all the issues to the side. To give space for the NRM to work with that in silence as the bill will create havoc, but give way for all the activity of the government. So you have been warned of the non-sense and should look at the major issues that make a difference for all of society, not just a minority. Peace.