Friday, March 18, 2011

Do gays have power to bring down a politician?

Mr. Buturo: Will he stop vilifying gays to win back his constituency in 2016

By Robert Atuhairwe

Mr. Buturo: Will he stop vilifying gays to win back his constituency in 2016

By Robert Atuhairwe

A Ugandan politician claims gays and lesbians caused his loss at the polls in General Elections held on February 18, this year.

Hon. James Nsaba Buturo has been a Minister of Ethics and Integrity resigned this week in the capital, Kampala after being caught in web of losing elections in Bufumbira East, crossing from his party (NRM) to the independent ticket and a Government plan to sack him and other ministers like him.

Buturo has been MP for his constituency since 2001. In the last election in 2006, he was unopposed. For all his misfortunes which have now brought him down to an ordinary MP who will soon be a private citizen come May, 12, the PHD holder blames his woes on gays. He says gays supported his opponent to defeat him.

Of course every loser in a contest can blame even the flimsiest of factors but Buturo is serious on what he is saying. He has been a leading crusader against gays in line with his Ministry’s docket.

Actually, the NRM party to which he belonged was behind the world-rattling Anti-Homosexual Bill that was almost passed into law by Uganda’s Parliament last year if it were not for worldwide condemnation. Fellow NRM legislator, David Bahati, tabled the Bill. The intended law prescribed the death penalty in some of its clauses.

Now this is where Buturo’s predicament gets more puzzling. As a Minister, he was simply acting as a government representative to manage the morals of Ugandans. He targeted not only gays, lesbians and bi-sexuals but also prostitutes, drunkards, the corrupt and thousands, perhaps millions, of other “immoral” people.

How interesting that of all the foregoing groups, it is the gays and lesbians that descended on him in Bufumbira East, decampaigned him and funded his opponent! As far as I know, many MPs on the NRM side and even on the opposition side supported the Bill. Many of them got re-elected and likewise, many of them lost.

Have the other losers feared to speak out on their cause of election misery or is Buturo simply crying foul using a weak excuse? Perhaps we should say the gays also campaigned for some MPs.

If that were the case, Hon. Bahati would have been the first casualty of the gays’ political prowess. They would have pumped billions into his constituency to crush him and pitched camp there. However, Bahati won a clean victory at the NRM primaries and was unopposed at last.

May be Hon. Buturo needs to take time and read the political trends in Bufumbira East. Is it a gay-dominated area? May be Bahati needs to educate the world on how to hate and fight gays but still win an election.

If the gay movement indeed has the power to bring down a politician in Uganda where the practice is said to be as alien as the extraterrestrials, then its membership figures have been grossly underestimated. Since no census has ever carried out to establish who is gay and who is not, may be the majority are. That being the case, governments (even elsewhere) need to beware what laws they enact as the gays will soon overpower them if they continue being fatally threatened.

I am only basing my assumption on the hope that Buturo’s case is genuine.

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