by Melanie Nathan, February 14, 2012
Ethics Minister Fr. Simon Lokodo, who recently said nobody would block the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, has today Tuesday blocked n LGBT conference on the shores of Lake Victoria.
According to reports from a named Uganda source, Giles Muhame, Lokodo physically ordered the management of the luxury five star hotel, Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe, to “kick out the gays from the group ‘Freedom and Roam Uganda,’ an organisation that promotes gayism,” as termed by Muhame.
Lokodo openly told the homosexuals that what they practice is illegal and unacceptable in Uganda. The Minister ordered “the homos to disperse or else call in police to take necessary action,” says Muhame of Rolling Stone Tabloid the magazine that published the faces of gays in Uganda under the header “Hang Them!” including the face of now murdered activist David Kato.
“As a Minister of Ethics, I have today decided to close this conference because it’s illegal. Homosexuality is not allowed in Uganda; please pack your bags now and go home,” Lokodo instructed, according to Muhame.
Lokodo seems to be mistakenly using the only current law that exists in Uganda which does not ban gathering but rather speaks to “crimes against natural order.” To commit such a crime, which is vague in so far as it pertains to homosexuality, per se, one would actually have to perform a sex act. What Lokodo is trying to do is to preempt the yet to be passed Anti-homosexuality Act which is set to target the “promotion of homosexuality.” The latter legislation is currently in committee in Ugandan parliament waiting the procedures that could result in its passage.
Lokodo later grilled hotel managers for allowing the secret meeting. “They later knelt, begging for mercy,” according to Muhame.
Being a strong Catholic, Lokodo ‘pardoned’ the Hotel staff on condition that such meetings are not allowed again. He threatened punitive action if his orders were disobeyed in future.
Lokodo early this week issued a strongly-worded statement, saying the Anti-Gay Bill must be debated in parliament despite resistance from western countries.
David Bahati, the author of the pending Bill, dubbed “The Kill The Gays Bill,” last week said that his Bill received overwhelming support in Parliament, and that it “is meant to protect the traditional family and human race from extinction and the moral fabric of the nation.”
My earlier reports can be found on this site, including the latest report where the Committees may be back peddling on the new Bill.
Although the legislation has yet to be enacted the Minister thinks he as the power to disperse a private meeting. Clearly Minister Lokodo, who ironically serves the cabinet that has just stated it does NOT support the new anti-gay legislation, has exercised some form of self autonomy. There is no legal basis in Uganda for a minister to order a private enterprise to limit who can hold meetings at its premises.
This is a perfect example of how the Ugandan anti-gay climate impacts Western tourism to the country. Corporate responsibility from western investors would require maximum caution when deploying investment, employees, convention attendees to hotels and other locations in Uganda.
The minister has had the audacity to overtly act out one very reason the impending Anti-Homosexuality Act should not be passed in that country and if the Ugandan parliamentarians choose to enact it they will have to bear the consequences of how it impacts foreigners who may have otherwise been supportive of Uganda’s needs.
See how self righteously Lekodo thinks he can order people to leave See the abject ignorance!
Note: From Hotel website- It would seem, pending my further inquiry that the Hotel belongs to a chain of privately owned hotels in Uganda. It is not uncommon in African countries for Government to share in profit or ownership. I have yet to find out if The Imperial Group of Hotels is fully privately owned.
The Imperial Group currently comprises of six hotels offering luxury accommodation in a total of 800 bedrooms.All of the hotels are located in the key business centers of Kampala and Entebbe. These full service, value for money hotels cater for the needs of the discerning global business & vacation traveler offering contemporary facilities in a warm and friendly environment :
Imperial Royale Hotel – Kampala
Grand Imperial Hotel – Kampala
Hotel Equatoria - Kampala
Imperial Resort Beach Hotel – Entebbe
Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel – Entebbe
Imperial Golf View Hotal – Entebbe
I have asked the Hotel Management to comment on the Article.