Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Minister Lokodo appears in court for closing gay meeting

By Anthony Wesaka Ethics Minister Fr Simon Lokodo on Monday appeared before the High Court in Kampala over the closure of a gay meeting in Entebbe, but was not cross examined as earlier expected. This followed an agreement by lawyers of the two camps who said court, presided over by Justice Eldad Mwangushya, should rely on sworn affidavits made by witnesses to resolve the matter. Fr Lokodo, along with the Attorney General, is being sued by four gay activists – Jacqueline Kasha Nabagesera, Julian Pepe Onziema, Frank Mugisha and Geoffrey Ogwaro – who accuse him of infringing on their rights when he closed their ongoing two –week meeting in February. The workshop in question was secretly organized by Freedom and Roam Uganda, an association that lobbies for the recognition of same sex relationships in Uganda, at Imperial Resort Beach Entebbe in February. “ The matter was coming up for cross examination today but after perusal of the proceedings, counsel for both sides agreed that there is no need for cross examination as they will rely on filed affidavits before the court,” Francis Onyango, a lawyer for the gay activists, told court. Senior Principal State Attorney Patricia Muteesi, who is representing minister Lokodo and the Attorney General, was in agreement with the suggestion. Justice Mwangushya welcomed the move saying it is “the best option.” The two camps agreed to file written submissions to assist court resolve the issues. The court gave the gay activists up to September 26 to file in their submissions, while Fr Lokodo and the Attorney General have up to October 19. The two sides will return to court on November 5 to highlight on the written submissions before a judgment date can be set. Fr Lokodo told this newspaper after the trial that he maintains his stand of closing any gay meeting, saying the practice is unnatural. “I still commit myself of dispersing any gathering organised by the gays. Homosexuality is unnatural: the Constitution and the Penal Code spell that out clearly.” Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, punishable under section 145 of the Penal Code Act as a crime against morality. awesaka@ug.nationmedia.com 24 comments delimoo • 20 hours ago the gay activists are trying to publicise themselves so that the u.s embassy can give them visas to go to america for kyeyo, it is not that they believe in this abominable and obnoxious gayism 7 3 •Reply•Share › Frankie Gold • 16 hours ago • parent Its not about Kyeyo, its about freedom. 2 1 •Reply•Share › Aisha • 18 hours ago • parent True Delimo! Believe me if these gays in uganda think these western countries love them..let them gather themselves and go to American, British and Germany embassies and apply for visas to the mentioned countires.. and see if they will be granted visas. These idiots have no inkling that western countries love us when we are in our countries..not when we are in their countires. 0 •Reply•Share › Onaba A • 20 hours ago Fr Lokodo, Continue the fight' we are behind you. The children of the Serpent are out again like it was in the days of Noah. Their wicked ancestor Cain who himself was an express image of Satan.. left untold appearance that up-to this date dents human genuine character as aught to be by Gods creation standard... (They are an icon of disgrace to life) they are worthy of hell, where they come from... 6 2 •Reply•Share › delimo • 20 hours ago i left a message and it was rejected. i was saying the so called gay are tricksters trying to publicise themselves so that the american embassy can give them visas to go yto america and do kyeyo, they are not really gays 4 2 •Reply•Share › tumweboneire Jackson • 20 hours ago Let the gays come to cross examine the minister, be arrested and charged for the offences they think are allowed in our society!!! 2 •Reply•Share › RUWENZORI • 18 hours ago • parent Economic opportunist calling themselves gay rights, some of them are just surviving on those games to get rich we know so well. Fr. Lokodo go go go disperse more meetings and workshops. 0 •Reply•Share › Concerned • 19 hours ago Fr Lokodo, Continue the fight' we are behind you.Yes, homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, punishable under section 145 of the Penal Code Act as a crime against morality. 2 1 •Reply•Share › Steve • 3 hours ago Why are the gays even allowed to take a minister to court? This is not right. These gays should not be allowed to hold any meetings again. Let them go out but here, wano ewaffe nedda. Tetujja kukiliza. 0 •Reply•Share › SmoothTouch • 3 hours ago To preserve morality of our society, continue the fight Fr. 0 •Reply•Share › Boston USA • 4 hours ago Those who think there's kyeyo in America are westing their time. Let them come and see how they will be frustrated and especially being G makes it more hard than expected. 0 •Reply•Share › sammy g • 4 hours ago lousy ugandans...no wonder the govt continues to trample on your rights....even the NRM sees opposition as unnatural so with the same argument it can continue to trample on their rights....Nobody forces anyone to like gays...if that meeting was never stopped most of us would never have heard of it but when we get zealots like lokodo and backed by many intolerant ugandans then it gets all the publicity 0 •Reply•Share › Ben • 5 hours ago Those gays are sick. Even mad men never accepst they are mad. The way forward is to find medical remedies instead of wasting useful time discussing this hell-bound vice. 0 •Reply•Share › ugandalife • 14 hours ago I feel like I'm in a time warp, transported back to the 1950's. The comments posted remind me of my youth when we went around gay-bashing in North America. It took time for people to realize that being gay was not a choice but truly medical. As sport celebrities came out of the closet, more people began to understand that their sports heroes were just human beings. They were not evil or sick, just people who were attracted to same sex partners. Eventually, Ugandans will evolve from their narrow-mindedness and learn to accept people for who they are and not what they are. No, I'm not gay but I've been fortunate enough to meet people who are. They come in various professions and chances are, you have probably met and talked to one (or more) and never knew it. 0 •Reply•Share › Moses Okello • 14 hours ago Bravo Jacqueline Kasha Nabagesera, Julian Pepe Onziema, Frank Mugisha and Geoffrey Ogwaro. Why a country that claims to be governed on the foundation of the Rule Of Law like Uganda continues to embrace a culture of intolerance? It’s good that Ms Nabagesera, Onziema, Mugisha and Ogwaro, you have boldly come out to show that guy and the Government of Uganda, does not and cannot work in isolation. Since Uganda is a signatory to International Conventions against discrimination, they should comply to those International Standards. First of all they violate the Human Rights as enshrined in the Constitution of Uganda. Considering the fact that Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees Equality and discourage discrimination of individuals because of their Sexual Orientation, you find that, the government is destined to pay heavy fines in compensations to a few individuals. Because of the ignorance of some individuals in government, he didn’t know that he was touching untouchable area. Even when he knew that; Article 21 [Equality and Freedom from Discrimination] of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda state: “ (1) All persons are equal before and under the law in all spheres of political; economic, social and cultural life and in every other respect and shall enjoy equal protection of the Law.” He did not care before taking such stupid action. LGBTs, have never been a problem to Uganda, we have more pressing problem such as: Bad Governance; Massive Corruption and High Mortality Rate, and Ignorance at the forefront. Possibly, this Minister, Fr. Simon Lokodo, didn’t know that, he was infringing Commonwealth Values. He [as Minister] should have been in the know that, Uganda is a member of Commonwealth, and the values of that CLUB to which Uganda is a signatory. The State is bound to be defeated because rights values, which were endorsed by the Commonwealth in its 1979 Lusaka Declaration. The 1991 Harare Declaration and the Port of Spain Affirmative of Commonwealth Value Article 5 of this affirmation commits a member country to protect and promote of quality and human rights without discrimination on any ground, including: sexual orientation and gender identity. The Minister also violated the African Charter, because it is presumed that, he knew that, he was working or doing all he did well knowing that, the Anti-Homosexuality [David Bahati’s unguided Bill], violates the equality and anti-discrimination provisions of the African Charter on Human Rights and People’s Rights, to which Uganda is a signatory and pledge to uphold. Ms Nabagesera, Onziema, Mugisha and Ogwaro, please, don't untie the noose. Keep on, others like Pastor Martin Sempa and company will learn a bitter lesson from this landmark suit. 0 •Reply•Share › klugasc • 15 hours ago This Lokodo guy is clearly an ignorant homophobe. God created gays that way, the same way he created blacks, whites. There's nothing wrong with being gay. He needs to stop the harrassment of gays because every Ugandan has equal freedom of speech under the constitution. 0 •Reply•Share › Jimmy • 16 hours ago enough of this ... some sanity. i doubt that there are gay Ugandans. 0 •Reply•Share › Gerald Kamya Kimpi Kiwuka • 17 hours ago This is fire that started burning internally long ago and it might have also been quietly even within some churches which do not allow their priests to make marriages. It may be difficult to stop such acts which people engage in indirectly within their rooms. 0 •Reply•Share › PStwagira • 17 hours ago Fr. Lokodo told this newspaper after the trial that he maintains his stand of closing any gay meeting, saying the practice is unnatural. The man of God please keep your opinion to yourself that it is not natural, what will happen if you are proved otherwise This priest turned politician seems to be living in a closed box Your opinion shouldn't be asserted on other people's freedom the guys who were interrupted by your ignorance have the right to enjoy the natural free oxygen which was taken away by honourable minister taking law in his hands being a judge and jury MAN SHALL NEVER PASS JUDGEMENT ON FELLOW MAN 0 •Reply•Share › Jibril Nturi • 18 hours ago These cats and dogs who are being sponsored by some thugs in Westren Europe to promote homosexuality in Uganda must be fought from all angles.The dangers of the vice in a country like Uganda are very clear and pose a serious threat to our society,especially the urban careless youth and the rural ignorant poor.Already the country is struggling to put the HIV threat at bay;and the mad people are seeking to open up a new battle front.Even the intergrity of the lawyers employed to defend these thugs must be questioned. 0 •Reply•Share › Fz Wagaba • 18 hours ago Live and Let Live!!! 0 •Reply•Share › nkoye • 18 hours ago my comments never come through. 0 •Reply•Share › mesemese • 18 hours ago You mean people are ignorant enough to do this for a visa. Then when they get to "the promised land" what next? 0 •Reply•Share › kibanzanga43 • 16 hours ago Do not even waste your precious time Fr. Mokodo, cut things short; have that thing called jacqueline or whatever the hell itself, get it linched and that will the end of the case.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Some unsolicited advice to Hon. Oromait, our youngest-ever MP

By Daniel K. Kalinaki Dear Proscovia Alengot Oromait, congratulations on your election as Member of Parliament for Usuk County. Many people have taken issue with the small matter of your age. They say that at 19 you are barely out of your nappies and are therefore untested in the important issues of national politics. They wonder how you will be able to make informed contributions during debate on the national budget when you can’t score a credit in economics to save your life. They wonder how you will go from skipping a rope with your friends to skipping committee meetings in a space of two months. I say ignore the lot of them! The people of Usuk must know something the rest of us don’t know. In electing you they have not only helped reduce the average age of the Parliament; they might have recognised that these days one needs neither experience nor brains to become an MP. In fact, as you will soon notice from your other honourable colleagues, you do not even really have to attend parliamentary sessions if they clash with your classes, should you find a university willing to take your grades (many will be willing to take your money, thank-you-very-much). All you have to do is turn up in the morning, sign in, and then saunter off to the hair saloon or to the lecture room. In the afternoon, there is something called a plenary where MPs assemble in the parliamentary chamber to take a collective nap. Every so often, one or two take to the microphones and go on about this and that. If the topic they choose to speak about is controversial, there might be many more who want to weigh in (which means to join in, not jump onto a weighing scale). This might cause some noise in the chamber and disrupt your nap. Don’t worry about Hon. Henry Kajura – NOTHING can disrupt his nap! The plenary session is recorded and broadcast live on TV. It is a good opportunity to show all those ‘haters’ that you can also debate and speak English. Seize the opportunity and show them that you are not “a joking subject”. Resist the temptation to send greetings to your family members though! Every so often, a matter comes up in the plenary on which you are required to vote. This is the only time you really need to be in Parliament and awake at the same time, according to your party chairman. And if you intend to catch a nap, do remind someone to wake you up to vote. You should be able to find a fellow MP who is awake to do this for you, unless you are appointed minister and have to sit on the front bench; in which case you will need to set an alarm for yourself and the rest of the bench. You will all need it. Once in a while, you will need to make a contribution to the debate. The matter under discussion might be beyond your comprehension or you might have nothing useful to say or add. That is fine; that puts you in the majority in the House. Remain calm and stand tall. Remember all those debates you had in primary school on ‘Mother is better than Father’; ‘Fire is better than Water’, etc? The debate here is whether the NRM is better than the Opposition. That’s what it’s mostly about. The rest is detail. When you speak, use phrases like “the people of Usuk” or “ordinary Ugandans”. If that doesn’t help, play the age card; point out that there are more 19-year-olds than 39- and 49-year-olds and that the youth of this country deserve to be heard. This will probably get you the attention you want, so you had better have something smart to say when the room falls quiet. Avoid putting yourself in this situation, unless you revised the night before and wrote down your main points. Do not let your age intimidate you; you might be the youngest in the House but you are not the only MP with the mental age of a 19-year-old. And always remember; your election shows either your party is now radical enough to bring youthful change through the ranks, or has lost its anchor and is now drifting out to sea, a rudderless vessel chockfull with buccaneering ‘patriots’. You do not have to be 19 to answer that question. dkalinaki@ug.nationmedia.com

Thursday, September 20, 2012

‘British artiste promoting homosexuality in Uganda’

The homosexual community in Uganda is crying foul over David Cecil’s arrest, saying it is part of the government’s blatant violation of the rights of homosexuals in Uganda. But members of the public The Observer sampled say the British producer and proprietor of Tilapia Cultural Centre is one of the many foreigners bent on promoting homosexuality in Uganda. “He deserves whatever punishment he gets,” said one man after hearing the David Cecil story. Cecil was released on bail on Monday. Last week, police arrested and charged him with disobeying lawful orders after he staged his play, The River and the Mountain in theatres in Kampala without clearance from the Media Council. The play is critical of the Uganda government and how it has handled homosexuality. Its main character is a young Ugandan businessman who loses his friends and is eventually murdered after revealing he is gay. According to information website Wikipedia, the dramatic comedy was to be staged at the National Theatre but had to relocate after the Media Council, on August 16, provisorily banned its performance in public. Officials accuse Cecil of disobeying the Media Council’s orders by staging performances in Kampala theatres last month. The chief magistrate’s court in Makindye granted him a cash bail of Shs 500,000 and Shs 1m non-cash for each of his three sureties. Cecil will appear again in court on October 8. Giles Muhame, former editor and founder of the defunct Rolling Stone newspaper, which, in 2010, lost a court battle to gay rights activists, said: “The law should take its course. Uganda has its own laws, which must be adhered to. Cecil is not above the law.” With the anti-homosexuality bill tabled by Ndora West MP, David Bahati, in 2009, Uganda has roundly been declared by the international community as homophobic — a label that has not prevented security agencies from barring gatherings of members of the homosexual community, or religious and political leaders from criticising the ‘homosexual agenda’ and its alleged promoters (the West and some NGOs). But critics of the bill say the charges against Cecil are a repression of freedom of expression reminiscent of the colonial era. “This is just a continuation of the intimidation that the government is determined to place on our work . . . It does not matter whether it is in the NGO world or the liberal arts,” said Clare Byarugaba, coordinator of the Uganda Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law, an organisation whose members were threatened with a ban for promoting gay rights. While the Media Council insists that the play was obnoxious and painted Ugandan people as violent, Byarugaba says they are optimistic that Cecil will not be found guilty and will not have to face the two-year imprisonment that awaits him if court decides otherwise. “Before he staged the play, we (the coalition) advised him to get lawyers, because we knew the government’s reaction on anything to do with homosexuality,” Byarugaba said. “He sent the script to the Media Council and there was nothing in it to stop it from running. It was not pornographic or anything.” Wikipedia quotes the minister of Ethics, Rev Simon Lokodo, as saying the play “justified the promotion of homosexuality in Uganda.” He added: “We will put pressure on anyone who says this abomination is acceptable.” According to Wikipedia, Cecil is a Ugandan-British theatre producer and the controversial play was written by Beau Hopkins, a British writer in Kampala, directed by Angela Emurwon, and the cast is all-Ugandan. pakumu@observer.ug