Uganda's Minister of Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo

Uganda’s Minister of Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo

Uganda’s Minister of Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo has claimed that white people brought homosexuality to his country, perpetuating the dangerous myth that gays and lesbians are not natural to Africa.

In an interview with Radio Netherlands Worldwide, the minister spoke about the recent enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which further criminalised gay sex and relationships, and the Anti-Pornography Act, which imposed a dress code for women under the pretext of shielding morality.

Lokodo, described as an “intelligent man” fluent in at least six languages, said that the reason the two issues had to be tackled through legislation was because of Uganda’s constitution.

“It’s because of our constitution, which gives people freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom of behaviour – you name it. All of this freedom, unfortunately, has been accelerated. It gives people freedom to do the wrong thing. And that’s when we say: no!” he said.

And while he couldn’t offer statistics to back up his conviction, he insisted that pornography and homosexuality are spreading in Uganda. When asked why, Lokodo replied:

“Because the whites brought this culture. People asked ‘if they can do this, why not me?’ This happened especially in the urban areas. In the rural areas we don’t even talk about it, because they’ll take you for one who has gone off-wits.”

Lokodo claimed, however, that he has no intention of infringing on the privacy of Uganda’s citizens.

“If you want to dance naked, why don’t you go home? You’ll be more comfortable. Why should everybody be there to see? The same goes for gays living in Uganda. I have my reservations whether one deserves to go to jail for being a homosexual. But certainly those who go around proclaiming a wrong gospel must be apprehended. These people are unfortunate. Please, it’s already bad that you are a homosexual. Just remain alone.”

The statement, however, contradicts the reality of a number of recent incidents in which men have been arrested and are being tried for allegedly having consensual sex in private.

Lokodo went on to say: “I can tell you that we find people like you, who would withdraw their money because we proposed this bill, a bit infant. Leave us alone, or let us relate. But do not colonise us again with your unacceptable culture.”

Lokodo, a former Catholic priest, appeared to imply in a previous interview that heterosexual rape is more morally acceptable than consensual homosexual behaviour because with heterosexual rape they are at least “doing it right.”

He’s previously compared same-sex marriage to bestiality, has threatened to ban NGOs that support LGBT equality and has personally accompanied police in raids on LGBT rights workshops.

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