But fails to apologize to the gays and does nothing to make amends to the LGBTI community in Uganda
By Melanie Nathan, Oct 10, 2012
In a self serving speech to a journalism class, Giles Muhame, the ex-editor of the Ugandan Rolling Stone Magazine, makes an admission of causing harm to gays and notes his regret for the “Hang the gays” article that he procured back in 2010.
Muhame wrote an article outing and exposing 100 gays in Uganda by showing their photographs and depicting a hang rope with the notation “Hang them!” This caused untold harm and some gay Ugandans were beaten, arrested and others fled the country.
Now Giles Muhame is trying to redeem his anti-gay hate with a futile statement of regret to a class of journalists in Uganda. (Please see the Giles Muhame form of Journalism below.)
In fact he is so proud of himself that he sent me a personal e-mail telling me that I may be interested in the article. About a year ago Muhame called me and told me that a speech I had made in Cape Town as keynote speaker at Cape Town Pride had inspired him to change his views on gays. Our interactions continued on the topic, but Muhame, instead of coming out with an apology and retraction, proceeded to pursue a book deal so he could make money off his turnaround.
However, that does not seem to have come off and since then Muhame started working on a new online publication. This publication, The Chimpreport, caused a journalist teacher Alan Greene at Victoria University in Kampala to invite Muhame to give a speech to the class:
Chimp Report reports his speech in an article entitled “ Chimpreports’ Muhame Excites Victoria University Students” – “Our Managing editor Giles Muhame on Monday afternoon interacted with vibrant, young and energetic journalism students at Victoria University in Kampala. Muhame was invited by journalism tutor, Alan Greene, to give students an idea about the operations of online journalism in Uganda, using the fast-growing and powerful Chimpreports as a case study. He later gave the excited students a chance to ask him some questions.”
Muhame sent me a personal e-mail
” Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 04:24 AM – To: ‘Melanie Nathan’
Subject: interesting piece
Hi my dear
check this link.
In God We Trust
I have purposely not linked to the Chimp Report as a matter of principle. Nor will I report the whole speech of Muhame which is nothing more than a self ingratiating self serving pat on the back from a man who has in essence done nothing and achieved nothing other than hurt people, make opportunistic admissions, failed to truly show remorse and failed to make amends. I ask anyone blogging on this NOT to grant Chimp Reports any free advertizing through links.
Here is the start of his speech:
“Thank you so much. Thank you. Please, please. Thank you (Applause).
In this country, you will see that so many people are so proud of you. They are your parents, family, lecturers, friends and lovers – all who are proud seeing you at this stage of education.
Let me start by telling the bitter truth. Let’s be honest. When it comes to such functions, I usually feel shy (laughter).
Not that I am not a good public speaker but because I feel so humbled to inspire a group of enthusiastic, energetic and young men. This is the generation the country has been waiting for. A generation that is well equipped with skills to shape the opinions of the rest. (Applause).
When your tutor Alan Greene invited me to speak to you, I felt honored. Not that I am the best online journalist in the world but one who gives it his all to be. (Applause).
At Makerere University where I graduated with a Mass Communication degree a few years ago, I never attended online journalism lectures (murmurs).
I was always in the field, putting in an extra effort to establish myself as the best political reporter in the country.
It was not until July 2010, a few months after campus that I chose to start a newspaper. The Rolling Stone made mistakes, which I regret and think, should have been avoided. It was the youthful adrenaline that overrode our reason. It was not necessary to wage a campaign for the hanging of gays. I think we could have prepared a better story without jeopardizing the safety of a minority group.
The story under the headline “Hang Them” cost the newspaper its future. It’s not a good thing to be known for doing the wrong thing. (Applause). This profession calls for responsibility and maturity on the part of journalists. Journalism calls for fairness, truth, honesty, balance and bravery.
Henry Anatole Grunwald said “Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.”
Today I want to share with you how the online media works.
But I will point out Chimpreports is doing an extraordinary job as one of the finest sources of timely and truthful news source in East Africa. (Applause).
The story of Chimpreports is an exhilarating one.
The idea to start this great website came up in 2010 while having coffee with a friend at Kati Kati restaurant in Kampala. We argued for hours how a website would make money. How would we mobilize money to recruit reporters? How different would the website be from the rest? How would our society benefit from the website? How would we compete with the mainstream media?”
That is ALL he says about gays, LGBT, LGBTI – the remaining portion of his speech touts lofty notions and nothing more….
and here is my response comment which I left on his site:
“You are disgusting for not apologizing to the gays of Uganda and the world for what you did. I am disgusted you were invited to speak at this University as you have failed to redeem yourself for causing harm and even death – Kato- You the catalyst Mr Giles Muhame. And you you are concerned about – so clearly from this inept speech is the fact that Rolling Stt\one failed. You are an opportunist and nothing has changed. Where is the BIG public apology Mr. Best Journalist in the World? Why have you not used Chimp Report to redeem your dangerous attack on Gays. You yourself told me on the phone “I have had a change of heart on this gay issue” and yet you have not had the courage to come out and apologize and say you were wrong. Your reporting was more than mere adrenaline of youth. It was designed to hurt the gays and it did. It was designed to win political favors. When you lost the case in Court and were fined and punished – you told me that you would give copies away for free to ensure that all knew about the hanging gays article. You were an anti-gay catalyst in your country of the worst kind and now you try and redeem yourself through this miserable little self soothing speech – Mr. Greene ought to be ashamed of himself for using your voice as one for journalism.”
Muhame ‘s taint sticks and will never be redeemed – not until he publicly apologizes and repudiates- by using Chimpreport’s reach to do it. He must come out and apologize directly to Uganda’s gay LGBTI community and with a worthy and meaningful repudiation – of all the hateful rhetoric.
A Reminder of Giles Muhame form of journalism:
PRESS RELEASE By Rolling Stone
Homos had a short-lived smile today morning after The Rolling Stone management announced it would appeal against a High Court ruling which “permanently restrains” the investigative newspaper from outing their pictures.
Homos sued Rolling Stone last November over a page one story titled “Pictures Of Uganda’s Top 100 Homos Leak.”
Court at 10:00am said the newspaper should give these self-confessed criminals shs4.5m as compensation for violating their right of privacy.
This was in total disregard of the fact that the shamed homos’ pictures had appeared on a gay-networking website –gaydar.co.uk.
Justice Kibuuka Musoke said in his ruling read by the court registrar that by quoting a church leader calling upon government to hang homos, the newspaper put the lives and dignity of these fellows at risk!!
Can a newspaper incite government against a homo? If this is not fantasy then what is it?
Hanging is done after the due process of the law has been followed. Simple facts.
We would have paid them but doing so is as good as “paying a tribute” to those who promote sexual identity confusion and related madness.
Our lawyers said the controversial ruling does not only condone but perpetuates immorality with impunity.
It further sets a dangerous precedent for the nation and future generations.
It also puts media freedom at stake.
The newspaper managers have resolved to register our grievance with the President’s office.
We remain strong that indeed in times of war, losses are expected.
The newspaper will fight homos on different fronts.
Our supporters should remain strong –the agents of the devil shall be defeated.
It’s a matter of time.
Sanity must prevail at all costs.
Read More – See List of Melanie’s Articles about LGBTI and Uganda at http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/uganda-lgbti/
Read My Story about Muhame’s loss in Court case.
By Melanie Nathan
Lest we forget my earlier Interview with Giles Muhame:
My Interview with Giles Muhame, Managing Editor, Rolling Stone – Jan 27, 2011
After reading his Press Release, I called Mr. Muhame, the Managing Editor of the Rolling Stone Publication in Uganda. He was very friendly – greeted me like a long lost friend with a resounding, Happy New year. I said, “Sir I am surprised, you sound like a really nice person, so friendly; He said “I am really nice, people are demonizing me but that do not know I am a very nice person.” And so we continued…..
Melanie: Most people in the western world think your statement and what the tabloid has done is outrageous and so they assume you are not a nice person.
Muhame: I am confused, I do not understand why people are outraged by us putting those pictures on our magazine page. We did the right thing to show those pictures. The Tabloid will win the appeal. We must expose criminals.
The homos argued that their right of privacy- had been breached when we published their pictures – but we must reveal these criminals to protect our children, Homosexuality is spreading like wildfire and we must stop it. The parliament is trying to strengthen the weak law.
Melanie: Do you base the idea of immorality that you speak of in your Press release on religion?
Muhame: No Homosexuality is illegal – and that if a person is caught in the act, they can be arrested. That is how the law is now. The new legislation which we hope will receive quick passage as soon as February, will tighten the weak law. The law is based on immorality for an ACT committed against the order of nature.” The new law will tighten this to refer to homosexuality in more specific terms and to criminalize it with stiff penalties.
Melanie: What about people leaving Uganda; the law would say they must be extradited back to Uganda; why not help the people get out of Uganda, I have an idea- why not simply say – leave Uganda and we will organize your safe passage with other countries willing to rescue you. Then help the gays and lesbians and transgender people board planes of foreign countries to leave as refugees?
Muhame: (Laughed) If a person comes OUT and says they are gay or we find that out, under the new proposed law, then they are confessing to a crime. So how can we help the criminal to leave? The order of nature says that men must sleep with women and make children. Uganda must look after its people and curb immorality. So it must be a serious crime.
Melanie: What if one of your children were gay – and the law was in place including the hanging sentence- how would you handle that:
Muhame: I will have no problem to follow the law. The law is the law. I will give my child to the authorities and will let it be what must be – if he must go to Jail or hang that will be fine if he is homo. If the law is there the homo should be hanged -he will pay the price. They will have to go to prison.
Melanie: Are you concerned that the USA and Western States may have to pull embassies, businesses, employees out of Uganda to safeguard against the possibility of committing a crime through employment of Gay and lesbian employees; and are you concerned about the economic impact of possible boycotts?
Muhame: We are not a colony anymore – we are independent. Soon we will have enough of our own oil and we will not need America or outside Countries. We are self sufficient and we will be okay, That is not a threat for us. If America stops the AID we will be fine. We can work harder- we do not need America.
Melanie: So you are not at all concerned about your standing in the International community and people of Uganda will be fine with isolation?
Muhame: I am not a member of the Government but I know I speak what the people understand and people call us the Nazis of Africa and the Gays are the JEWS of Africa. They call themselves that to get sympathy.
Melanie: What harm do the Ugandans think Gays can cause in Uganda; why is it not possible to leave he Gays alone to their privacy between consenting adults?
Muhame: We cherish the traditional family. Homos spread aids and have orgies and are drug addicts. There are higher mortality rates and increasing because of homos. We have big problems of poverty in Uganda.
Melanie: Is poverty is the fault of the homosexuals?
Muhame: Yes, of course.
Melanie: Do you realize that Hitler and the Nazis blamed the Jews in Germany for the economic problems and that was a justification for the Genocide?
Muhame: But here in Uganda we think that homosexuals are very few so the country can do without them. It will not matter if we take them out of society. The future of our kids is at stake. Homosexuality is illegal so if you commit a crime you have done an illegal act so we want to put them in jail and not let them out.
Melanie: So what is your plan if you loose the case on appeal?
Muhame: Rolling Stone Tabloid had plans for a campaign to drum up support for the (kill gays) Bill and we will not be afraid to lose our liberty and to publish the picture of the homos again even if the Court says we cannot. I will go to Jail for the people of Uganda.
Rolling stone must continue with its plan- to help our people even if we risk our own liberty. I am prepared to go to jail but I will continue to publish picture and OUT more Homos.
Rolling stone will support all the candidates in the election that support the new homo bill and we will give the magazines for free to all the schools when the kids get back to school. When the students come back to school and Universities, we are going to defy the order of Court and we decided that we will hold demonstrations and drum up support for the bill to be passed as soon as possible.
We will sacrifice our liberty we going against the order of God. We will publish their pictures without fear from the courts. I am willing to go to Jail.
Our constitution empowers the people – if they do not want homo they can fight for it that is our decision. Mainstream media is soft so Rolling Stone will do something to help the people of Uganda.
At the end of the conversation – and there was a lot more, we decided to remain in touch. I promised Muhame that I would try to answer his question if he promised to publish it unedited in Uganda’s Rolling Stone Magazine – I would provide the answer to “WHY is America Outraged by the Outing of gays in their Magazine.” He said he would be willing to listen.
At the end of the conversation I asked him if he would like to hear about my life. I told him I was born in South Africa, that I had been against the apartheid Government, how I supported Nelson Mandela and then the clinger – about my life in the USA, my work and my children and their achievements. I then said I would give him permission to OUT me on his tabloid… that I had not fear because I believed that I had conducted my life with a strong sense of morality and that my Country allowed me to live openly as a lesbian.
He said he respected the discussion and that he would be open to hearing more from me about my side.
What I got from this conversation and from the underground sources that I have in Uganda, is that the situation is very serious and there is a good chance that the antigay bill can pass. The people of Uganda are very far gone in their indoctrination and accordingly, the Western World had better come up with a plan, as a matter of urgency or lives will be lost to legalized hate that will follow.
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Thinking how much pain this Giles Muhame made to David Kato the last months of his life I wanna cry both of sadness and anger ! And also the pain he made to those “who were going to be hanged” but are still alive… Giles can go to David Katos grave and apologize to his soul and while there think about the pain he did. And Alan Greene who invite people like Giles to speak, shame on you !!
Yes, You are right. Muhame and I have been communicating all day today via email after I wrote this piece, He is not really apologetic at all and fails to properly take responsibility. He is all about “show” and nothing about “real.” You would get more angry if you read the emails. Maybe I will publish them later. Basically I have been asking him to dialogue with Ugandan activists and to apologize to them directly.