Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cables reveal officials met with Bahati at Church of Uganda HQ

Jump straight to Box Turtle Bulletin for coverage that cannot be improved -- including links to The Guardian's today.

But here are some stomach turning excerpts from the cables via Wiki-Leaks:
2. (C) PolOffs met with Bahati on December 15 to provide recent statements by Rick Warren and others against the anti-homosexuality bill. At Bahati’s request, the meeting occurred at the Anglican Church of Uganda’s headquarters where Bahati said he was reviewing the legislation with Anglican Church leaders. XXXXXXXXXXXX Bahati entered our meeting with a document entitled “The 10 Deadly Sins of Homosexuality”, and launched into a lengthy explanation of the current bill, saying it renders existing law more specific by defining homosexuality and attaching penalties for homosexual “recruitment”. He criticized international donors for short circuiting Uganda’s democratic procedures when it is in their interest, said demands to withdraw the legislation outright are unacceptable, and ridiculed recent threats by Sweden to cut its assistance (ref. A). Bahati attributed international criticism to a misreading of the text and a misunderstanding of the “situation on the ground” in Uganda.
8. (C) [David] Kato delivered a well-written speech defending the rights of gay and lesbians in Uganda. However, his words were nearly indecipherable due to his evident nervousness. Throughout Kato’s speech, XXXXXXXXXXXX UHRCXXXXXXXXXXXX openly joked and snickered with Bahati and Ssempa XXXXXXXXXXXX. XXXXXXXXXXXX representatives left shortly after Kato’s speech, fearing that Bahati had instructed the Inspector General of Police to arrest Kato. After a break, Ssempa showed graphic x-rated photos of what he described as gay sex, and several audience members rose to ask why authorities did not arrest Ugandan homosexuals when they had the chance. XXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXX said Members of Parliament who privately oppose the bill fear losing their seats if they speak out against the legislation, and therefore support the bill in public and will vote for it should it ever reach the parliamentary floor. XXXXXXXXXXXX said Bahati is blaming homosexuals for the spread HIV/AIDS, pornography, and increasing incidents of rape and defilement, and that the legislation is a diversionary ploy intended to steer attention away from real issues like corruption and the 2011 elections.


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