Saturday, January 29, 2011

Museveni Regime Denies Kato's Murder was Homophobic

R.I.P. David Kato Kisule, Ugandan LGBT activist, and advocacy officer for 
Sexual Minorities Uganda.  Murdered by hammer blows to the head, by an 
assailant who broke into his home in Kampala, Uganda, January 26, 2011, 
weeks after he won a lawsuit against Uganda's Rolling Stone tabloid for 
publishing his picture and those of other LGBT Ugandans and 
urging "Hang them."

Ugandan Deputy Police Spokesperson Vincent Sekate
"I would like to make it very clear.  It is not linked to him being an activist of the sexual minorities.  It was based in unrelated crime, which we are taking. . . we are taking it very serious and we are going to investigate up to the logical conclusion."  -Ugandan Deputy Police Spokesperson Vincent Sekate

How can Ugandan Deputy Police Spokesperson Vincent Sekate, before doing an investigation, be so very sure that David Kato's murder had nothing to do with his being openly gay, or with his work as advocacy officer for Sexual Minorities Uganda? And why does the US keep throwing money and weaponry behind the regime that Sekate speaks for, that of Yoweri Museveni, the President of Uganda for the past 25 years? Why did my California Senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, co-sponsor a bill to further arm and empower the Museveni regime?

Why did all the most liberal Senators in the country, including Minnesota's Al Franken and even Vermont's Bernie Sanders, co-sponsor this bill, the so-called LRA Disarmament Act? Why does the bill bear fallen liberal icon Russ Feingold's name?  I think the answer is the U.S. deployment of Ugandan mercenary troops in Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, and as needed otherwise on the African continent, but LGBT rights organizations in the U.S. need to answer that question for themselves and decide what it means to them.

Note the headline, in the Rolling Stone tabloid, just beneath "100 Pictures of Uganda's Top Homos Leak": "UPDF Prepares for Sudan War."  Black Star News Editor Milton Allimadi and others have identified that potential war as a war for Southern Sudanese oil, supported by Ugandan soldiers funded by the so-called LRA Disarmament Act.  I called Milton Allimadi about the mobilization on the Ugandan/Sudanese border, and in the eastern Central African Republic for my KPFA Radio News Report: "Oil, African Genocide, and the USA's LRA Excuse."

Uganda's Rolling Stone tabloid included pictures of LGBT
activist David Kato and Bishop Christopher Senyonjo,
the heterosexual Ugandan Anglican Bishop dedicated to the
defense of LGBT rights.  Note headline beneath, "UPDF
[Ugandan People's Defense Force] prepares for Sudan War."

Human Rights Campaign already has a fundraising letter out regarding David Kato's death, asking for contributions to counter the proudly plutocratic, aggressively homophobic organization known as The Fellowship, or The Family, but has not yet called on America's best known liberals, or on President and Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama, to explain their ongoing military, financial, and diplomatic for the Museveni regime yet.

There are plenty of votes to be won, political points to be made, even funds to be raised by political candidates as well as Human Rights Campaign, by issuing statements  condemning David Kato's murder.   Barbara Boxer and Barack Obama have both issued statements, but how much does this really mean when President and Commander-in-Chief Obama, and our most liberal legislators, including Boxer, continue to arm, and empower the president and military strongman who now denies, via his police spokesperson, that David Kato's murder was homophobic?

California Senator Barbara Boxer, co-sponsor of the
LRA Disarmament Act

And, if President Obama and Senator Boxer were serious about wanting to end homicidal homophobia, wouldn't they be funding education in Uganda rather than a major military mobilization to secure Southern Sudanese oil?  All accounts are that Uganda's public education system is in shambles, that students are being shuffled from one grade to another without learning anything, and that only children of the wealthy get a real education---in private school.  

Olara Otunnu, presidential candidate of the Ugandan People's Congress, told me that he himself went to school in a mud hut, in a village in Acholiland, where he got such a good foundation that he was able to go on to Makerere University in Kampala, then on to Oxford and Harvard Law School.  But, he says, his story is no longer possible, not in Uganda as it is now.

Most people abandon the hellfire-and-brimstone fundamentalism that includes homicidal homophobia with education, literacy, and critical thinking, not with bullets, bombs, and mercenary troop deployments.    

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