Daniel Kalinaki's weblog

A commentary on news and events in Uganda and elsewhere


Just an ordinary bloke.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bash the Baganda and gag the gays; Bahati's Bill was always a diversion

THIRD FLOOR - President Museveni today apparently told senior officials of his ruling National Resistance Movement party that the Bahati Bill, which proposes stiff penalties, including death, to homosexuals in Uganda, did not have the backing of the government and would probably be shelved.

This was the first time President Museveni was speaking out publicly about the Bahati Bill although Daily Monitor had earlier quoted a US media outfit saying Mr Museveni had given assurances to the US govt that the Bill would not be passed. So President Museveni, as usually happens, is set to come off as the voice of reason and moderation. He will have a chat with Bahati, the Bill will be sent back for further consultation and probably die a natural death. It will certainly not return before the elections due in 2011.

The reality, however, is that the Bahati Bill was a well calculated diversion by the government, designed to take attention away from the Buganda Question, which was festering in the immediate aftermath of the Sept 2009 riots in Kampala, as well as the Land Bill which was forced through soon after, with Buganda, its mouthpiece CBS radio shut down, unable to mobilise against the Land Bill.

The pro-gay rights lobby will probably celebrate this backing off as victory for reason and liberalism. Some might even congratulate Mr Museveni for being humane and progressive. But it is all one big sham -- and one that has been repeated several times over. This was never about men and women who turn out in masks to demand for their rights to an alternative sexual orientation; it was always about trying to pull a mask over our heads while Buganda was bashed in.

Can we now get back to the CHOGM inquiry? We should find out who really took the car money -- and who dished out money for hotels to be built hours to the arrival of the first guest...