The violence provoking rhetoric and scape-goat myth and lies asserted without any substantive basis or evidence, by these government officials, lead to violence and the forcible displacement of LGBTQI+ people from Uganda:
By Melanie Nathan, February 13, 2023
In the United States I provide country conditions expert witness reports on affidavit as well as related testimony in immigration court to support LGBTQI+ Ugandans who have fled to the United States, seeking asylum. The conditions for LGBTQI+ Ugandans are impossible to circumvent and no place in that country is safe for a gay, lesbian, trans, bisexual, intersex, non-binary or queer person, those perceived as such and human rights defenders and allies. This is because the LGBTQI+ community is a target for extreme violence and many have suffered beatings, rape and some died as a result. The reason for this is criminalizing laws, demonization, ostracization and all that giving license to state and non-state actors to exact vengeance and abuse. Only few Ugandans can make it abroad as much money is needed for flights, hotels, and school fees in the instance of those who leave on student visas. There is no such thing as an asylum visa. This means those applying for asylum in the U.S. have entered into the USA on visitors, students or on business visas, and in some cases have trekked through Central America, making it to the U.S. border, an extremely dangerous route. The majority of LGBTQI+ fleeing the country cannot qualify for any visa to the US, UK or EU and other countries that provide a measure of protection and equality. So, when fleeing they are forced to cross borders into neighboring countries which also criminalize them. However there is a layer of protection and a hope for resettlement abroad when they arrive in a neighboring country.
This flight across a border under these circumstances means one may qualify as a refugee. The UN High Commission for Refugees – UNHCR, provides respite and hope for protection and possible resettlement- but the latter is not guaranteed and conditions are harsh. The refugee is subject to international law and treatise and that is helpful. However with 100 million refugees in the world, resources are scant and this is exacerbated for LGBTQI+ refugees when some hostile host countries refuse to register and serve their needs, because they are regarded as criminals, even in the country of refuge.
The world needs a special plan for gay, lesbians and trans (LGBTQI+) people forcibly displaced by such persecution. But there is none. And it is harder to come up with one when the tiny protection milieu is infested by frauds and scammers who pretend they have legitimate claims under the LGBTQI+ social minority group.
What follows here is a taste of the climate that Uganda’s LGBTQI+ community must endure all instilling justifiable fear and actualized violence. I am reposting the ARTICLE below, exactly as it appears in The Ugandan Monitor, a news publication that is respected in that country and widely read. The lies and myths and ‘scape-goat’ in this article, speaks for itself. More troubling is the participation of Janet Museveni, the Education Minister, who happens to be the wife of the oppressive Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni who has served as President of Uganda for 33 years. He is also the very President who signed "THE KILL THE GAYS BILL" back in 2014. That Act was voided by Uganda's court because it was passed in parliament without a quorum. Since then Parliament has threatened to re-enact the law, which probably has yet to happen due to the global anti-Uganda outcry that results from such legislation and the threat to Uganda’s foreign aid and standing. I apologize for the offensive nature of this Article that I am reposting below- however it is important to see the nature of the lies in exact words:
What you need to know: Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa last week warned of dissident gay groups and their networks, targeting learning institutions.
As schools re-open today after a long holiday, parents across the country are concerned about the safety of their children amid reports of growing homosexuality in learning institutions.
This comes after Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa last week blew the lid on dissident gay groups and their networks, targeting learning institutions as major recruitment centres.
Mr Tayebwa, who instructed the House Education committee to speed up investigations into “the menace of homosexuality in schools,” yesterday talked of disturbing messages from parents regarding the issue of homosexuality in schools.
“Our children are in danger, homosexuals have infiltrated our schools and attempts are being made from all corners to lure innocent children into these immoral acts,” Mr Tayebwa told this publication.
“This fight is not for the faint hearted, we must fight back. As Parliament, we are going to investigate this issue, but the head teachers, parents as well teachers must work together and protect our children from these vultures. Every school must come up with measures to deal with the problem and clear notices, warning learners about the dangers of homosexuality,” he added. Ms Janet Museveni, the Education minister, also came out last week and pledged more support to schools in fighting against homosexuality.
Ms Museveni said “sex education is being abused to incorporate negative ideas that do not conform to our culture”. She asked schools to safeguard against such vices. Key measures Education experts at the weekend recommended a number of measures that should be immediately undertaken to safeguard learners against homosexuality. Dr Jane Egau Okou, the director of Secondary Education and Technical and Vocation Training (TVET) in the Ministry of Education and Sports, said in a telephone interview at the weekend that close monitoring of learners is one of the key measures that schools must undertake to minimise the risk of exposing students to the vice. “In the meeting we had with the teachers last week, the chairperson of the head teachers association said in the night some of these people don’t sleep. You have to keep moving around the school to ensure that students are sleeping. So, it is close monitoring; otherwise, the habit will not die if they are not monitored,” Dr Egau said.
Appeal Dr Egau explained that since there was also a concern by some head teachers that the vice was also being propagated by some parents, parents should also be engaged in the fight against homosexuality. She also warned that expelling students from school will not help solve the problem as a student engaged in this vice can easily join another school and continue spreading the habit among his peers. Posters against drug abuse and homosexuality at Kibuli SS, Kampala on February 5, 2023.
Mr Hasadu Kirabira, the chairperson of the National Private Education Institution Association (NPEIA), said schools handle a big generation and that the students come from various homes and various backgrounds.
“We have realised that the practice of homosexuality starts within our communities, including the homes of some parents. When they come to school, they share them among their friends,” Mr Kirabira said.
“We are getting scared and that is where schools have to be a bit more serious and observant and also observe the behaviour of some teachers because it is shifting from being a student-centered to teachers being part of this kind of thing,” he added. Donations Mr Kirabira asked schools to be careful with certain organisations that come to make donations such as learning materials and infrastructure projects. He explained that “there are some organisations that have come up to support education departments within the districts with reading materials and resources and yet behind it there is something they want to promote. Schools have to be careful with sponsorship, which was not requested for.” He added: “We must also be careful with roles of senior men and senior women. How do they do their work, whom do they work with, so that they are not left with the autonomy, making certain decision because they might be part of the teams promoting the same immorality within the schools.”
What others say
Merab Ibiasi, head teacher of Sunrise High School, Soroti. Since this practice originates from the community, we have asked our students to always beware of such people, desist from the practice and report anyone who lures them into it. Students also learn about homosexuality as a sin, while studying Christian Religious Education.
Didas Ampaire, H/M Comboni SS, Bushenyi District: “We intend to make and display postures within the school premises with messages that will encourage learners to avoid being seduced into homosexuality, and lesbianism. The school chaplains will talk about it and also encourage teachers to talk about it before they start teaching, we can even invite people to talk to them about the same.”
Stephen Ojambo, head teacher of Masaba College, Busia. “We are also sensitising our students about the dangers associated with homosexuality. They can be psychologically affected. Although I have not heard about such cases in Busia so far, our students need serious counselling and guidance since some of them may be exposed to the practice from the communities where they come from.
PLEASE NOTE: African Human Rights Coalition Country Conditions reporting can be requested here: nathan@AfricanHRC.org