The anti-gay Ugandan government, and especially its jabbering homophobe-in-chief, Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo, are excited to report that they've found proof of a homosexual conspiracy to overturn the moral order in Uganda and promote gay sex in the Ugandan media. From The Kampala Observer:
The government says it has intercepted minutes of a recent meeting that discussed wide-ranging strategies on how to promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Uganda.
These strategies include how to raise funds and recruit 'friendly' journalists into the cause of fighting for homosexual rights in Uganda. Some sources have told The Observer that security operatives infiltrated gay groups and managed to get a document containing minutes of the meeting.
The unsigned document, a copy of which we have seen, names 41 people, from 23 NGOs, as having attended the meeting on May 4, 2012, under the coordination of the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law …
Not incidentally, Andy reported earlier this month on a raid of a meeting of LGBT rights activists meeting in Kampala. It's unclear if Mr. Lokodo's document was obtained during that operation.
Mr. Lokodo, a former Roman Catholic priest, is now doing his best to ensure that the 23 NGOs named in the document are banned from doing business in Uganda:
… he said he had passed the list of the NGOs to the Internal Affairs minister to get all of them deregistered, as they were engaging in an illegal activity. Lokodo told journalists that the NGOs were receiving support from abroad and "recruiting" young children into the vice.
Mr. Lokodo says he believes the recovered document will be an important component of his case to revive the punitive anti-gay bill introduced three years ago by MP David Bahati, and which has been languishing in the parliament ever since. The bill originally instituted the death penalty for those convicted of repeat homosexual relations, but the punishment has been amended to life imprisonment.
The Washington Times, the Moonie paper, points out that the recent intensity of anti-gay sentiment in Uganda provides a useful distraction from the rolling public disaster that is the government of President Yowery Museveni:
The move to ban the NGOs comes amid sharply declining support for the government and power struggles within the administration.
An Afrobarometer poll in March found that Ugandans’ approval of President Yoweri Museveni’s government had fallen to 26 percent, from 64 percent in January 2011.
Meanwhile, news outlets reported last week that Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi are angling to unseat the 68-year-old president, who has been in power for 26 years.
“This campaign against sexual minorities is meant to shift attention from the challenges this country is facing and the issues affecting day-to-day lives,” said Hassan Shire, executive director of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project.
NGOs have become more vocal and critical amid the government’s increasing reliance on patronage to retain power, massive unemployment, crumbling infrastructure and violent crackdowns on journalists and activists.
It's worth noting that President Museveni has expressed disapproval of the anti-gay bill, though only after initially endorsing it.