Documentary: President Museveni's letter on the Homosexual Bill
RE: HOMOSEXUAL BILL
I have received the Bill you passed against homosexuals.
Before I comment about the Bill, however, I would like to first discuss about the Method of work and the general plan for recovery and development of Uganda as conceived by the NRM for the last 48 years. Uganda got off from a „false start“ (the words of Rene Dumont) even before Independence. The political actors of that time got off on a „false-start“ by failing to define the interests of the Ugandans even as a collectivity. In this connection, I have repeatedly told you that my interests as a Munyankore milk producer are not with the Banyankore because they, actually, do not buy my milk because they have got their own milk. My interests are best served by Uganda, East Africa, the Great Lakes region and, eventually, the whole world because they are the ones who buy my milk, my bananas, my coffee, my beef, my tea, etc. In order, therefore, to claim that I love Banyankore, I must, first and foremost, love the Ugandans, the East Africans, the Africans and also care about the whole world because that is how the Banyankore will thrive.
By the pre-independence and post-independence leaders failing to see this, they caused a lot of damage, anguish and loss of development time. By the NRM addressing this, we were able to provide Uganda with a new opportunity, peace and development for the last 28 years. We have been able to build a cohesive Army. Nevertheless, some opportunists continue to try and promote the pseudo-ideology of sectarianism based on religion, tribe or gender chauvinism. We continue to oppose them firmly but politely. If they do not correct themselves, we shall have to take a decisive stand against them.
By the time we came into power, there were numerous problems, one of them being the collapse of the small modern enclave economy the British bequeathed us based on ”three Cs and three Ts“ as they used to say. The „three Cs“ were: cotton, coffee and copper from Kilembe; and the „three Ts“ were: Tobacco, Tea and Tourism. This little enclave modern economy was, however, surrounded by a sea of backwardness in the form of the subsistence economy (non-monetary GDP). When that little enclave economy collapsed, the tax collection also collapsed. By 1986, only 4% of GDP was coming in taxes – 5 billion shillings from the whole of Uganda. This collapsed economy came with insecurity perpetrated by groups drawn from primitive fascism of the pre-colonial and post-colonial times. Groups like FOBA, UPA (Teso terrorists), LRA (Kony), ADF are all linked to these past fascist regimes.
By prioritizing among priorities, dealing with some issues at a time, we have been able to cause the recovery of Uganda. Our GDP has expanded 16 times and our tax collection now stands at 9.000 billion shillings per annum – 1.800 times bigger than in 1986. On account of this, we are no longer totally dependent on outsiders for the development budget; we have never been dependent on outsiders for the recurrent budget. We have been able to reconstruct many tarmac roads – e.g. Kampala-Masaka – using our own money and many electricity lines – e.g. Gulu-Atiak-Bibia-Adjumani-Moyo or Katakwi-Moroto.
I have previously provided you with the very long list of these projects funded by the Government of Uganda (GOU). We could have done much more if we had had solid support from Parliament ever since 1996 when I left Parliament. Many projects have been frustrated using Members of Parliament (MPs) either in Committees, the whole house or individual MPs who are not punished for that damage. This is apart from the Parliamentary time being wasted by a lot of diversions like the shameful lies told in the oil debates in spite of my giving them the correct information early in that debate.
In this struggle to create a minimum base for security and economic transformation, we shelve or put on hold many equally important, or even more important, issues either because they need deeper study or there is less consensus over them. This was the case, for instance, with the marriage Bill. Hon. Miria Matembe had brought it up some years ago. Knowing our society very well, I advised them to shelve that Bill because I was sure there would be no consensus on it and it was unnecessarily provocative to our traditional society, my late father included. Later on, without information to me, this bill was resurrected and you remember what acrimony it caused. It had to be withdrawn. The NRM has for long started the systematic emancipation of women, not only through political representation, but, mainly, through universal education. An educated professional woman will not be subjected to traditional practices like bride-prize (enjugano)except if it is her prevalence, mainly for symbolic reasons. It was, therefore, adventurous for certain elements to push this position, against my advice, to the centre stage.
Recently, we had the anti-homosexual Bill. This is, again, something we had advised to shelve until we had studied it in depth. Some Elements, however, insisted and, even without the Quorum of Parliament, *passed* it. How can you *pass* a law without the quorum of Parliament after it has been pointed out? What sort of Parliament is this? How can Parliament be the one to break the Constitution and the Law repeatedly?
Coming to the substance of the homosexual debate, I would like to ask: „Who is a homosexual?“ My answer is that a homosexual is somebody who is abnormal because the normal person was created to be attracted to the opposite sex in order to procreate and perpetuate the human race. The same goes for other species – cattle, pigs, etc. Indeed, my Bishop of North Ankole, Rt. Rev. Muhanguzi, was partially right in one of his sermons when he asked the following question: „Ruhanga nabaasa okwehakanisa? – How can God contradict himself by saying in the Book of Genesis that Adam should be given a wife, Eve, and then also create homosexuals?“
Since I had not concentrated my mind on this subject, Bishop Muhanguzi’s question sounded logical. However, now that I have been forced to concentrate my mind on this issue by the actions of a small group of out MPs, led by the Rt. Hon. Kadaga, I can see the fallacy in Bishop Muhanguzi’s position. Who creates albinos? Is it not the same God that creates other people – Black Africans and Europeans? Do albinos create themselves? No. Simply, nature goes wrong in a minority of cases. Fortunately, our indigenous science has since millennia detected and described these abnormalities. Albinos are called nyamaguye. Homosexuals are called ebitiingwa or ebisiyagyi (Kuganda). Epilepsy is called entsiimbo. A barren women is called enguumba (in the past it was not widely known that men could also be enguumba). There is another abnormality known as „epa“ – where a woman does not achieve puberty by not developing breasts (amabeere), pubic hair (enza), hairs in the arm-pit (ebigoori-goori), etc., etc. In Runyakore some of these are called amahano. In the pre-colonial times, I think some of these were killed, especially epa. So were even lighter cases of, for instance, pri-marital pregnancy, ebinyandaalo. These abnormalities are different from disability, obumuga or aburema. The other is eihano (abnormal) and the other is ekimuga or ekirema (disabled). The difference is that a disabled person is a normal person but who got disabled in some aspect. Eihano is abnormal fundamentally mainly because the hormones malfunctioned.
The question at the core of the debate of the homosexuals is: „what do we do with an abnormal person? Do we kill him / her? Do we imprison him / her? Or do we contain him / her?“
In the traditional society, it is not very clear whether they would kill these abnormal people. What is clear is that they would try to contain these abnormalities by being particular about the person the married (okushweera) or got married to (kushweerwa). They used to kutaasha (report on the qualities of the intended bride).
Unfortunately, this has been interfered with by the concept of „falling in love at first sight“ grabbed by our „modern“ women and men. This is a big mistake. What do you know about problems (blemishes – emizze) of the person you have fallen in love with at first sight?
I suspect this has been the problem in Europe and the West. Even there, they had the same principles in the past – of careful selection. They, however, abandoned these in preference for money initially and, eventually, for just, freelance bonding. It may be this that has increased the phenomena of the abnormal sexual conduct. The abnormal people have increased.
Apart from the people who are born abnormal, it seems there is a larger group of those that become homosexual for mercenary reasons – they get recruited on account of financial inducements. This is the group that can be rescued. Possibly many of our youth fall in his category. How about the women lesbians? Apart from the ones that are born abnormal and the ones that may become lesbian for mercenary reasons, there may be those that go into that practice because of sexual starvation when they fail to get married. Women are normally more than men for reasons I do not know. In the past, this imbalance could have been addresses by polygamy. Some of the religions de-campaign this traditional practice. What happens, then, to these surplus women? I normally separate spiritual matters from social issues, ever since the 1960s. Some confuse these two: If socially you behave in a given manner, then you are not spiritual, they seem to say. My private view, which I never seek to impose on anybody, is that people can have different social arrangements but be very spiritual. Can’t a Moslem who is polygamous be as spiritual, as godly, as a Christian who is monogamous?
The groups that can be rescued, therefore, are those who are homosexual or lesbian for mercenary reasons or on account of frustration – failure to get legal partners. The rescue for these mercenary deviants is, first and foremost, economic – rapidly industrialize Uganda, modernize agriculture, etc. Do not delay any project of factory, services or infrastructure. By so doing you are exposing those unemployed youth or impecunious students to these risks and temptations. If you do not do this and you only talk about legislation, you are a quack social doctor. Even with legislation, they will simply go underground and continue practicing homosexuality or lesbianism for mercenary reasons. By providing for UPE, USE, Government scholarship, the student loan scheme, etc. we are trying to rescue our youth from extreme need. However, these do not cover their other financial needs – pocket money, necessities like videos, poor parents, unemployed siblings, etc., etc. Do we not have legislation against prostitution? Why has it not stopped prostitution?
In addition to working on the social-economic issues of our youth with great vigour (instead of behaving as if we are doing a favor to the investors who bring projects here), yes, we should legislate harshly against those people with money, from within and from without, who take advantage of the desperation of our youth to lure them into these abnormal and deviant behaviors. I would support a life sentence for the one who lures normal youth into these disgusting behaviors – especially homosexuality. On this one I would agree with the Bill passed by parliament.
The unanswered question, however, is: What do you do with the really abnormal people? In the Ankole-Kigezi-Buganda-Tooro-Bunyoro-Karagwe area, in the last 200 years, I am aware, through rumours, that there has been, at least, three very prominent persons who were homosexuals. Two were kings and one was a prominent chief. Some of these did outstanding and really unique service to the respective communities, their private problems notwithstanding. Only the other day, I saw on television that Dr. Allan Turing, the genius mathematician that cracked the German Enigma code for the anti-Hitler Alliance, at Bletchley park in the UK, was a homosexual. This man, along with the discovery of the radar, gave an unfair advantage to the anti-Hitler group and enabled them to win the war. Yet, the British chemically castrated him in 1952, where-upon he committed suicide, apparently. Were the British correct in handling that issue like that? The British no longer think so. Only the other day, the Queen had to apologize to this sexually abnormal person but much more useful to society than the millions of sexually normal people.
Therefore, the challenge is how to correctly handle the sexually abnormal on the one hand and those who use money or any other influence to recruit sexually normal people into this abnormal and disgusting behaviour. When we meet in the NRM caucus, we shall, I am sure, find a scientifically correct position.
Three final points. One is the reason given for the hurry in rushing some of these legislations: „There is a lot of homosexuality in schools, etc.“ Yes, that may be so. What, then, does it mean? Does it mean that homosexuality is more attractive? Or is it because of the bad economic conditions for the families of those children that drive them into homosexuality for mercenary reasons? Is it not the same economic conditions for the rural families that I have been talking about since 1995 when I made a countrywide tour after successfully experimenting with socio-economic transformation in the Nyabushozi area? Why do we not, all of us, put more vigour in the struggle for homestead incomes using the resources the Government has been sending to the rural areas? With the Army officers and Hon. Kataike, we have been able to distribute more than 5 million seedlings of coffee since September, 1 million seedlings of tea, 235.000 seedlings of fruits, etc. If we all supervised NAADS in our respective areas of representation, we would have gone much further in putting incomes into the homesteads so that we eliminate the poverty that makes our youths vulnerable.
The second point is that people who become homosexuals for mercenary reasons will get „hooked“ to homosexuality, I doubt very much. What is there in homosexuality that would attract a normal human being? A man to fail to be attracted by the beauties of a female body and is attracted to the anus (I now understand) of another man can only represent terrible sickness. Let us cure the economic conditions so that we rescue our youth and, then, see how to deal with the few abnormals that may be there among us.
Finally, I do not agree with the position of the Western countries that homosexuality is an alternative sexual orientation to heterosexuality. You cannot call an abnormality an alternative orientation. It could be that the Western societies, on account of random breeding, have generated many abnormal people. Nevertheless, you cannot say that because the abnormals are many, they constitute an alternative way of life. My acid test for rejecting that position is that nature is purposeful. One of the main purposes of man is to perpetuate life. You cannot perpetuate human life without copulation of opposite sexes for the majority of animal species. Even many plants rely on cross-pollination. It is only a few that rely on self-pollination. Therefore, homosexuality and lesbianism, if not mercenary or out of social frustration (for sexually starved women) is an abnormality and must be treated as such.
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
- Warren Throckmorton: Full Text of Letter From Uganda’s President Museveni to Speaker of Parliament Kadaga Regarding the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 17. Jan. 2014