Monday, December 14, 2009

Do Evil Minds ''Really'' Rule Uganda?

I am appalled by the Editorial of the Sunday Times Newspaper December 12, 2009 ( ) which stated that my country Uganda is ruled by Evil minds.

Whereas I appreciate that the Editorial, like many of us, is not comfortable or happy with the Anti Homosexuality Bill 2009 which is currently before the Parliament of Uganda, I do not think calling our leaders "evil" helps the debate. This debate, which has been going on for a long time, has indeed given me a real taste of the world - Whereas many people do support the Bill for a variety of reasons, many do not support the Bill and others support only certain aspects of the Bill. However, there is a group of people who do not support the Bill, who have chosen to go "name-calling"(and in some cases used abusive language which does not help). In my view, they should look for means to convince the other side instead of calling those in support of the Bill names such as bigots, fascists, and homophobes or as in this case, evil.

To say that ''Evil minds'' rule in Uganda because of this bill seems to mean that there are no evil minds in countries that have de-criminalized homosexuality. However, this is far from the truth. Evil lurks everywhere. Even the devil does not know the intent of man's heart-including the hearts of those who don't support this Bill. In any case, there are many other issues like rape, defilement, poverty, racism, corruption, terrorism, murder, xenophobia, pedophilia, name it which are lurking all over the world-I am yet to see this paper give the leaders of nations where this happens (and this is all nations), the same kind of "brand"-Evil
It seems the editorial team intentionally decided to feign ignorance (I wonder whether deliberate or not) about the way laws in most democracies are made. If they had inquired, and I sure hope they did, they would have known that this is a private member's bill; that like in any other democracy, the process of reading the bill is going on; that just as RSA voted for President Zuma, a person many thought was not fit to be President; our democracy should be equally respected; that our President Museveni, who is being attacked unfairly in this Editorial, has not yet consented to the bill -which has not even been passed into law anyway.
If there is an example of BAD JOURNALISM, this is clearly it!! Whereas, many of us do have disagreements with many provisions in the Bill, we still respect the fact that there is freedom of thought, expression-but most of all, this is a democracy-and until we change our democratic values, we should not have our legislators and their "medieval attitudes" kicked out of the 21st century as the editorial suggests. If it were so, how come there is need to allow "thoughts" of "some citizens" seeking love and companionship with members of the same sex."?

Advocating for "Donors to “use their clout to demand the scrapping of the bill" is basically advocating for donors to interfere with our democratic and political process -and am surprised that a fellow African newspaper would suggest this. Using one proposed bill as the bench mark to advocate for the "return of human rights to (our) country.'' is equally astonishing. We have so many human rights concerns in this country, including but not limited to, the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels, freedom of the media, freedom of expression, association, closure of media houses, blocking of opposition rallies, floods, name it- but I am yet to read an editorial from this paper in these issues.

Why this specific cherry-picking of human rights causes? Most annoyingly, the editorial asserts that the bill will drag my country "back to the dark and evil days of Idi Amin" – a clear display of misunderstanding or lack of knowledge about the history of Uganda

As for now, unless the contrary be shown, I am very suspicious of the real motives of this editorial


  1. i agree with you. the passion that comes with the homosexual issues seems more than neccessary. where is the voice of concern about corruption, war, hunger in teso and so on. you dont get as much. even the death of children in school fires didnot future in any world reports to the best of my knowledge. so why all the fuss over someones thoughts and ideas. is he not free to express himself......

  2. While I agree that name calling is not a productive way to initiate conversation and continue debate, it allows us to understand what people are passionate about.

    I do not agree that other countries should leave us alone! What is the reason for being part of an organized collective if we cannot see injustice for what it is and call upon leaders to act differently? Misogyny in some countries, child prostitution, ethnic cleansing... and so on and so forth.

    To ask others to turn a blind eye while human beings who are not causing others harm are criminalize and tortured - that is too much to ask. What if it was considered that being a Mutooro was like being the devil's spawn and Ugandan's took it upon themselves to rid the country of them, would you not ask someone to intervene?

    What are you asking the international community to do? Let Uganda alone? What if genocide happens, should Uganda be left alone too? What if the country falls into economic ruin, should they turn a blind eye? What about a situation like Haiti? What exactly are you asksing the international community to do?

  3. we are asking the international community to act in a manner which is fair. if they raise so much noise over this issue but keep quiet when there is war in the North and genocide in Rwanda we find that strange.

    they should also respect the process, it was a bill tabled for debate by a private member. his views should be respected even when they donot agree with them.

    i would expect them to show more concern about other issues tabled.

    their picking and choosing bothers me

  4. Gloria, sorry i missed this comment-

    Like i mentioned in the piece, ''We have so many human rights concerns in this country, including but not limited to, the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels, freedom of the media, freedom of expression, association, closure of media houses, blocking of opposition rallies, floods, name it- but I am yet to read an editorial from this paper in these issues.''

    As long as cherry picking of human rights causes continues, we shall always query the intentions of the campaigners

    Therein lies my ''issue''. I am asking for fairness in advocacy-


Thank you so much for your comment. I will try to respond to it as soon as possible.