Museveni Gives Anti-Gay Speech at Bishop’s Consecration

The Kampala New Vision gives details of a speech given by Uganda President Yoweri Museveni at the consecration of Patrick Gidudu as the new bishop of Mbale Diocese.

“I salute the Archbishop and bishops of Africa for resisting disorientation and a decadent culture, which he said was being passed by Western nations.”

Describing homosexuality as mtumbavu (Swahili for stupid), the President said: “Don’t fear, resist and do not compromise on that. It is a danger not only to the believers but to the whole of Africa. It is bad if our children become complacent and think that people who are not in order are alright…These foreigners should go and practice their nonsense elsewhere. That is the minimum demand.”


“When I learnt that the bishop was being consecrated I thought of shoes for the bishop. Since walking is now outdated, I thought I should give him a car, which is parked outside,” he said as he handed the keys to the bishop, prompting cheers from the fully packed church.

It is not clear whether this was a personal donation cast from Museveni’s own abundance, or whether Ugandan taxpayers had shelled out. Gidudu was consecrated by Archbishop Patrick Orombi, who, according to a recent report, says “he fears for his life because of the campaign he has waged against homosexuals”.

The situation for gays and lesbians in Uganda is bleak, as I have blogged in the past: as well as the practice being illegal, religious rallies and government officials have called for media censorship against any pro-gay statements. One Ugandan lesbian is seeking asylum in the UK after allegedly being raped by police (VirtueOnline mocked a journalist who raised this at GAFCON as “whiny”), and Human Rights Watch reported just a few weeks ago on a gay-rights activist being tortured in police custody:

The abduction and torture of a Ugandan HIV/AIDS activist who faces trial for holding a peaceful protest reveals the danger to those who challenge the government’s policies, Human Rights Watch, and the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders said today.

…Police arrested Usaam “Auf” Mukwaya, Onziema Patience, and Valentine Kalende on June 4 after a peaceful protest at the 2008 “HIV/AIDS Implementers Meeting” in Kampala against the government’s lack of response to HIV/AIDS among the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities. The three human rights defenders were charged with criminal trespass and freed on bail on June.

On July 25, a few hours after a hearing in the case, Kampala policemen abducted Auf, as he is known to his friends, on his way back to the Speke Hotel.

…According to Auf, three police officers (one man and two women) pushed him through a dark corridor into a room where they made him sit on a chair. Auf saw four other men around his age in the room. One had a broken leg and the other three appeared to have been beaten. One of the women officers scraped his knuckles with a razor-like object; later, the man tied him to a machine that stretched his arms. At dawn, before releasing him, they forced him to strip to his underwear, asked him if he was a man or a woman, and made him walk around the room in his underwear. The following day, they dropped him at Mulago round-about in central Kampala. Auf told Human Rights Watch that he could identify his attackers if he saw them again.  

One American who has reportedly backed Museveni’s crack-down is Rick Warren, the media-savvy and “safe” Christian right leader whom Barak Obama and John McCain were recently so keen to be seen with after their Jeremiah Wright and John Hagee fiascos. According to a March report in the Kampala Monitor, Warren had

said that homosexuality is not a natural way of life and thus not a human right. “We shall not tolerate this aspect at all,” Dr Warren said.

The bishop’s consecration seems to have been an excuse for various Ugandan politicians to grandstand:

Dr. Kizza Besigye, the head of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and Miria Obote of the Uganda People’s Congress also attended. When the President entered the church, the congregation stood up except Nandala Mafabi (FDC) and Besigye who walked out shortly after amid murmurs.

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  1. […] I blogged an anti-gay speech made by Museveni here. […]

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