Government says it has confiscated details of a planning meeting by gay rights activists that recently sat somewhere in Kampala to draw wide ranging strategies on how to advocate for the rights and activities of homosexuals and lesbians in Uganda.
The details include a plan to raise money for, and recruit friendly journalists to support and promote gay activities.
The meeting took place on May 4th this year under the coordination of the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law.
Among the strategies that the over 20 NGOs discussed include developing a media strategy and strategic arguments against all the sexual bills and for decriminalization and implementing the media strategy when required with a view to changing opinions and convincing the public.
It also has a strategy of mapping out friendly journalists as well as hostile and ignorant ones with the objective of identifying trainable journalists to become allies and objective reporters on sexual minority and gender identity issues.
It discussed how to build a network of up to 40 journalists, including those who are friendly to, hostile to and ignorant of sexual minority issues.
The strategy document, whose time frame is June 2012 to June 2013, plans to have workshops, talk shows, open-air discussions commonly known as Barazas and parliamentary advocacy programmes for MPs, among others. It plans to roll out its implementation of gaining acceptance for the sexual minority groups through civil society organisations spread throughout the country.
It also has a well laid out plan to lobby national, regional and the international community to pile pressure on Uganda government to forestall any attempts at making unfriendly laws against gays, especially the Anti Homosexuality Bill.
The detailed document has angered Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo.
Shortly before leaving for an official trip abroad, Lokodo, upon seeing the document containing the names of the participants listed against the organizations, said he had finally gotten what he has been looking for all along to take action against the gays, their activists and their funders.
He accused the gays of being disruptive to Uganda’s social stability, promoting a negative culture contrary to the laws of this country and promoting homosexuality and lesbianism as an acceptable culture.
He vowed to deregister the NGOs in a week once he is through with his investigations.
Lokodo said government would support the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 to make it more stringent against the gays and their promoters.
The bill also seeks to mandate those close to a homosexual to report them to police and have them arrested and charged with the offence.
Njoroge Njenga, a program officer with Freedom House, an American NGO that was one of the organizers of the recently disrupted gay activists’ workshop near Kampala, while admitting knowing some of the names of participants to the strategy meeting of May 4, said he was not aware of the specific details of the meeting because he had just come to Uganda recently.
He said he was going to ask one of his colleagues to make a comment on the alleged document but the call had not yet been made by the time of filing this story.
David Bahati, the mover of the anti homosexuality bill, says his bill intends to stop the promotion, recruitment, funding of homosexuality and same sex marriages.
When he was told that minutes of a meeting for the activists had been confiscated by government, Bahati said he was happy that at last there was something to use as evidence to show that the gays have been promoting their activities in Uganda.
Bahati says that homosexuality is not a human rights issue in Uganda because it is illegal.