Last year, the Parliament of Uganda debated a law that would make habitual homosexual behavior punishable by death. Americans and Europeans were outraged. This East African nation is one our closest African allies, and the recipient of some $16 billion in foreign aid during the past two decades. Activists staged demonstrations outside Uganda’s embassies, organized petitions, sent funds to Ugandan gay rights groups, and denounced American fundamentalist Christians who were linked to the Ugandan pastors and politicians behind the bill. Western diplomats threatened to cut off aid to Uganda if the Anti-Homosexuality bill passed, and the bill died in Parliament in May.
What I’d like to know is this: where are those activists and diplomats now that the Ugandan government is inflicting even worse abuses against all Ugandans, gay and straight? Since national elections in February, Uganda’s security forces have fired on peaceful demonstrators—killing at least nine people including a toddler—and imprisoned hundreds of others; the opposition leader Kizza Bessigye was shot in the hand and doused with so much tear gas and pepper spray he nearly went blind; soaring inflation, in part due to the looting of the Treasury to finance the ruling party’s election campaigns has caused the number of children hospitalized with malnutrition to triple. Meanwhile, President Yoweri Museveni just spent $50 million of British development aid on a private Gulf Stream jet, described by its manufacturer as “the world’s most versatile and stylish” on the market.
By Ronald Ssebutiko | New Vision
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