Thursday, July 25News That Matters

OPINION: Mwenda’s rant on the anti-homosexuality law was a misguided.

Last week, the motormouthed journalist turned political conduit Andrew Mwenda published a rant titled Uganda’s homophobic madness in which he condemned the Ugandan Parliament for passing a law against homosexuality.
Andrew Mwenda arguments zero on economic reasons claiming that this law will cause western countries to reduce economic and social intercourse with us which includes trade, tourism, investment and of course Aid.
Andrew Mwenda also says that the morals and family values that the country attempt to safeguard have already been wrecked, and thus no need of a law to enforce the same. To him we should surrender to moral decadence and not make any effort for its restoration. Of course this coming from Mwenda doesn’t surprise, since he has been a crusader of corruption, saying corruption is good for economic development. With such a reasoning of pseudo intellectual arguing like a UPE drop out, Mwenda lacks the moral authority to speak about morality!
However, I will focus on the economic impact of this law since it forms the core of Andrew Mwenda’s argument! First the managers of our economy, Ministry of Finance, whom Andrew Mwenda has always praised issued a Certificate of Financial Implication for this bill which was evidence enough that the law doesn’t pose serious economic ramifications to our economy.
Secondly, Mwenda confidently and justifiably argues that the Europeans will withdraw their funding to the oil Pipeline project because of this law hence affecting our oil and gas industry. Surprisingly the same Mwenda was up in arms when the European Parliament passed a resolution against funding of our pipeline on the basis of environmental and human rights issues. His argument then was that the west intervenes in poor countries using NGOs to promote neocolonialism, to him human rights violations that were being raised did not mean much, but today he finds gay rights too important to protect at the expense of our culture and finds it justifiable for the whites to withdraw funding should the law be assented to. So, to Mwenda when the Europeans are promoting democracy and human rights its neocolonialism and when they impose homosexuality on us, it is economic development, what a hypocrite! I thought what is good for the goose should be good for the ganda!
If the western World are genuine people on whom we can bank for our development, since they have given us money when we are not respecting all other fundamental freedoms and rights, why would they withdraw their money merely because of homosexuality? Are the homosexuality rights more important than all other rights?
Thirdily, Mwenda misses the point by thinking that Africa must depend on the West, can he tell us of a country in Africa that has developed because of the aid money? Hasn’t Africa remained behind despite having been liberal & open to every opinion from the west even at the expense of its own values? Can Uganda or any African country compare well with the countries that have been conservative against western culture like China, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Qatar etc?
In my view, there is no need to surrender our values because we want to get funding of any kind from the West. If the west benefits from Uganda, they will find means of working with us even with a law against homosexuality, just like they have worked with us even with our poor democracy. If the West thinks they have been so kind to us, let them stop their funding and see, whether we shall die after all they found us thriving!
Mwenda should know that the funding and loans from the west are the reason we have remained dependent on them, we think they are there to help us and so we abuse our own resources. The IGG Beti Kamya recently said we lose 11 trillion annually to corruption, but our external funding for the 2022/23 budget was about 10 trillion, that simply means we can live on our own if we stopped corruption.
When Moses was crossing the red sea, God asked him what he had in his hands and Moses replied that he had a rod/stick, God told him to hit the rod in water and it created the way. That is a principle that one can be only saved by what he has, not what is given to him by a stranger.
Uganda and Africa have a lot of resources, from fertile soils to a good climate, from fresh water bodies to hundreds of tourist attractions, from mineral resources beneath our soil to petroleum, and most importantly a young and energetic population. These are enough resources to develop Africa.
If the withdrawal of funding by the west due to this law happens, it should be a blessing in disguise, an opportunity for Uganda and Africa to unlock our minds, it should be our time to look into our hands like Moses did and realize the abundant wealth that we have, sadly that is unutilized. It should be an opportunity for us to think on our own and build our economy than relying on the false hope from the west!
To the Ugandan Parliament, to the MPs, to the Speaker Rt Hon Anita Among, you did extremely good to make such a legislation, may God bless you!

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