Lately, homosexuality in a hostile takeover has grabbed our social media feeds and news headlines. The news headlines must be grateful for the break.
Now we do not have to hear about corruption, unbridled ineptitude, and torture nio nio nio. We Ugandans of upright standing and patrons of passivity are aghast at the moral decadence of other people’s lives.
Our homegrown debauchery watches in astonishment as we collectively stand against the homosexuality of colonizers and funders of pretentious civil society organisations.
In January, a social media post about the alleged sexual abuse of a student in one of Uganda’s leading secondary schools went viral. The post has since descended into high-pitched shrieking about insidious rings of homosexuals in secondary schools.
Something about homosexuality turns even the most doggedly indifferent Ugandan into a crusading warrior of morality. Of course, policing the morality of others, not our own righteous lives.
Across the political spectrum, people who usually cannot see past their political colours, suddenly unite in sublime fervour against homosexuality. Why does homosexuality incite such vehemence? Is homosexuality the X-factor that finally unites Ugandans?
Kizza Besigye, patron saint of Uganda’s harassed and oppressed opposition, has several times thrown up his hands in frustration at the indifference of Ugandan elites. He accuses them of failing the fight for Uganda’s governance because they choose the soft life over involvement in our corrosive politics. Meanwhile, incompetent politicians angling for relevance bait the masses. Strong anti-homosexuality stances get the masses going.
We, the pure and upright masses, find homosexuality so abhorrent that other ills pale in comparison. On February 7, a high-ranking servant of Ugandans, the deputy army commander of the land forces, had a few choice words for homosexual Ugandans.
The Daily Monitor reported that Maj Gen Francis Takirwa, during the handover of a renovated health centre, asked health workers to deny homosexuals medical services. Takirwa fumed, “Don’t use our health facilities to treat homosexuals; someone comes with pampers leaking and wants treatment because he made a decision as if he didn’t have brains. No. No. This is too much and unacceptable.”
Such is the power of disgust. One would hope that Takirwa would also find the act of torture and illegal detention so repugnant, that he would similarly demand that health workers deny soldiers who abduct and torture Ugandans, medical services. As the Ugandan Human Rights Commission has regularly documented, the police and army are the leading perpetrators of torture.
Thankfully, torture is not as disgusting as homosexuality. As we unite against homosexuality, the sexual network watches us bemused. Our high-volume rate of procreation including the high rate of teenage pregnancy testifies that we take sex very seriously in this country.
When we peer into the sex lives of ‘the gays’, we find them so vile that they afford us the opportunity to grandstand and obscure our own thriving sexual networks.
The most committed anti-homosexuality crusader might be an avid sower of wild oats, sowing pregnancies here and there, leaving his offspring to whom it might concern but phew, at least he is not a homosexual.
The politician frothing at the mouth about the threat of homosexuality in our schools deftly glides over the rampant sexual abuse of children in school and at home while sexually harassing the young women in his office for ‘some’. We peddle salacious gossip about prolific paedophiles masquerading as school administrators leering like ravenous wolves at children we have entrusted to them.
The man holding court at his neighbourhood kafunda rabidly curses all homosexual Ugandans after which he stumbles drunkenly back home where he pulps his madam into a bloody mess as his children cower in terror. The men of God call forth fire and brimstone upon homosexuality but press mute on impunity as they receive sleek rides from the Office of the President.
Our motto, ‘For God and my Country’ sets us on the straight and narrow road to the amusement of our internal contradictions. Yes, we might be quite miffed with the ruling regime for its commitment to corruption, dismal service delivery and blatant disregard for the rule of law but at least, they are not gay.
Our convenient stand against homosexuality is a most inconvenient dilemma. But, it allows us a modicum of dignity; we can pretend that we are fighting for Uganda and future generations. Fighting homosexuality is much easier than fighting endemic corruption, electoral fraud, a flailing economy, and human rights abuses.
When all other ground is sinking sand, how soothing we find the sexual deviations of others. Fortunately, our private sex lives are not disgusting like those of ‘the gays.’ The sex we allow ourselves is cherubic for as President Yoweri Museveni infamously quipped to the horror of the sanctimonious international community, we Ugandans know what the mouth is for.
Calm yourself – the mouth is for speaking out against homosexuality, the vilest most unforgivable sin, according to the Ugandan hierarchy of depravity. Finally, we stand united. Thanks to homosexuality.
Olivia Nalubwama is a “tayaad Muzukulu, tired of mediocrity and impunity” firstname.lastname@example.org
THIS ARTICLE FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE OBSERVER