Ugandan Speaker Kadaga and Ambassadors should brace themselves for much more as the the World Community will not tolerate institutionalized persecution of LGBTI people.
By Melanie Nathan, January 10, 2014.
Ugandan Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has a lot invested in the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and for that reason is again lashing out at a world that is telling her that the Bill stinks! Her legitimacy may ride on this Bill as she perceived it as a victory – a much needed one given her the constant mess of the Parliament that she oversees.
The controversial and somewhat sub-par speaker has lashed out at foreign countries accusing them of “harassing Ugandan diplomats” over the recently passed anti-homosexuality bill.
Kadaga, who presided over the Parliamentary session during the passing of the odious bill on December 20th, has requested that countries back off, saying Uganda is a sovereign country and makes its own decisions. Kadaga made the comments during her address to Ugandan ambassadors who were appearing before Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. The speaker noted that she had been briefed that some of the ambassadors “were being harassed over the recently passed bill, describing the act as bullying.”
Of course Kadaga forgets the impact of Uganda’s operation in the world and how this Bill makes such impossible. A country that prides itself on tourism, a country that wants foreign investment and AID and yet is willing to isolate itself because it enacts a law that make it difficult to function in the global arena. At what point do bad laws tip the scale between sovereignty and prudence?
The Anti-Homosexuality law will probably be held by Uganda’s Courts to be unconstitutional. Touting sovereignty does not serve Uganda, as it defies the United Nations message and the International Declaration of Human Rights. It also fails to follow the protocol of the Speaker’s own Human Rights guidelines, as published on parliament’s website, where the Speaker noted, in stark contradiction:
Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament has urged Members- “to always ensure that the bills and motions they consider pass the human rights compliance test.” See http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2013/09/11/does-ugandan-speaker-kadagas-launch-of-human-rights-checklist-impact-the-anti-homosexuality-bill/
According to the tabloid Red Pepper:
Kadaga “wondered why these countries are picking on Uganda, citing an example of US President Barrack Obama who tried to talk about homosexuality while in Senegal, but was stopped by that country’s President Mackay Sall.”
“Kadaga went ahead to attack Richard Branson, British businessman and investor who called for Uganda to be blacklisted by donors over the anti-gay law. Kadaga says Branson has invested heavily in Nigeria where the same law was passed but foreign countries still associate with it. She added that there are Americans in Saudi Arabia where homosexuality is not allowed but that Americans still live there. She told the ambassadors not to accept any kind of bullying from countries they are deployed telling them to stand firm and defend the culture and decision of Uganda’s Parliament on homosexuality.”
Kadaga in citing these other countries as her excuse fails to note the unique genesis and terms of the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality bill and that no amount of citing other countries will serve to justify Uganda’s Bill or her stance.
Kadaga went on to reiterate the lies, some of which serve as a basis and attempted justification of the Bill. One such lie, continually perpetuated by Kadaga and Bahati, in pimping the Bill, was her accusation that gay rights activists promote the acts (of homosexuality) among students in schools by giving them money.
The Anti-homosexuality Bill was shoved through Parliament by Kadaga in an unorthodox and surreptitious process, where the it was omitted from the Order Papers and Parliament did not have a quorum.
President Museveni has not yet provided his assent to the bill. He recently said he needed time to study the law before taking a decision. The Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, tried to block the passing of the bill. The law will be discussed in the ruling NRM party caucus.
Kadaga can whine at the world in a purported shield for her Ambassadors, but she should be warned and so should all the Ugandan Ambassadors, that the protests have only just began. It will get worse and Uganda will be isolated if the Bill is enacted to finality. Museveni is fully aware and that is why he is not jumping on its assent – as he has to placate his populace which seems to love the Bill while balancing his international image. However that may serve Kadaga’s plans for her own political aspirations, as she uses the popularity of the Anti-Gay sentiment in Uganda to stir for her own benefit.
The international message to Kadaga will soon be clear, that her tantrum calling protests bullying is another smokescreen, given the right and duty of the world to express its disdain on behalf of a small group of people, which it believes is being persecuted through institutionalized discrimination and criminalization based on lies and myth. Lest Rebecca Kadaga think that this anti-gay tirade of hers will cause the world and her own people to continue to allow the scape-goating through gay hate, by ignoring all the other insidious problems of Uganda.