Lokodo Hunts while the West Sleeps | U.S.A. must act immediately to open its doors to LGBT Ugandans seeking refuge.
By Melanie Nathan, February 06, 2014.
If we in the Allied countries had our response to Nazi Germany to do all over again, perhaps the persecution of Jews would not appear on page 6 of the New York Times, buried in oblivion, seemingly unimportant and to be regretted decades later, after we acknowledge the reality and truth of its repercussions.
Now we are faced with gay-hating Ugandans who are to gays what Nazis were to Jews, at the beginning of the hunt, where Jews were first persecuted, and then laws escalated, leading to the rounding up, incarceration and extermination. There were lists and Uganda is emulating the Nazi history.
It is reported that Museveni’s Cabinet Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Simon Lokodo, has developed his own Goebbels like list and is poised to swoop in to hunt all LGBT Ugandans.
We have been reporting on the public outing of gays through tabloids such as Rolling Stone and Red Pepper Since 2009 at the time of the introduction of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, by vehemently gay hating Ugandan Member of Parliament David Bahati.
Now that the Bill has passed and is pending President Museveni’s possible assent, we see an increase in LGBT persecution, with new arrests and its innocent victims being paraded in front of Uganda’s press by police, to further ensure public outings, setting victims up for witch hunts and mob lynchings.
Lokodo has been known to make up law through his summary arrests and detention of human rights defenders, some perceived as gay as well as attendees of workshops, on trumped up charges, now the subject of a lawsuit against Lokodo.
However Lokodo has now been further empowered by the December 2013 passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which has yet to become active law; and word has it that he has, in Nazi like fashion, developed a target list of outed gays.
According to Ugandan writer under pseudonym Seba:
“On Hon. Lokodo’s list are corporate persons, business people, public entertainment figures, foreign residents, alleged LGBTI-supportive organizations in Uganda, as well as ordinary blue-collar citizens who wake up every morning and go to earn a living without making a single political or social wave.
Minister Lokodo is using the Kira Road and Ntinda police to secretly “investigate” them all to confirm where they live, what work they do etc., with a view to conducting blanket arrests, naming and shaming indiscriminately.
Minister Lokodo is making no secret of his intent to find and destroy the gays wherever they are. If he has to do it outside of the confines of legal proceedings, so be it – he will make up the law as he goes along. It won’t be the first time after all.
Word reaching yours truly is that arbitrary arrests are being planned whether President Yoweri Museveni signs the anti-gay bill or not. The arrests will be done stealthily and then publicity will be shone on them once the victims are apprehended.
Currently, the ‘investigators’ are operating around the Ntinda/Bukoto area, (Kampala suburbs) where they are casing out residences and drinking joints. They are being assisted by Kira Road Police in their furtive “inquiries.” You might recall that Kira Road was the police precinct where, a few days ago, Stephen Dhont and his Kenyan friend where carted to have both of them examined for evidence of homo-sodomy without their lawyers present, and without any arrest warrant. Turned in by a disgruntled former employee of Dhont’s, they had been arrested while watching “Sex and the City,” a movie the police dubbed “gay porn.”
All the while young Ugandans should be given the opportunity to leave Uganda and we should be opening our doors in terms of special VISAs to all and any LGBT people whose sexuality is criminalized by their home Governments.
Currently it is extremely difficult for most Ugandan LGBT people to leave Uganda, due to the constraints of the law in seeking asylum abroad, lack of funds by most and lengthy protocols.
Until we find special and swift measures to help Africa’s LGBT community to escape certain persecution, jail and possible death, we may as well be complicit in the hunts.
Again, remember what we could have done to save the Jews, “had we known” as a global community, and imagine that albeit on a smaller scale, history is about to repeat itself and the story lies in that list.
In my advocacy work I have my own “Schindler-type-list” of Africans seeking escape from Uganda, Angola, Cameroon, Nigeria, and other places. They have been placed on the PCI Justice Rescue Fund List.
Donations to The Rescue Fund to help LGBT Africans escape their government persecution, can be made at Paypal, [email protected] – These donations are not tax deductible at this time, and 100% of funds collected are used for the Rescue Fund refugees/asylum seekers.