EFF leader Julius Malema warned Uganda’s President Museveni to not sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (Photo: EFF)
Led by Julius Malema draped in a rainbow flag, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) marched to Uganda’s High Commission on Tuesday to picket against that country’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
Dozens of EFF members gathered outside the commission in Pretoria to condemn the legislation that was recently passed by the Ugandan Parliament and is awaiting the signature of President Yoweri Museveni.
If made law, it will jail people convicted of homosexuality for life, will impose the death penalty on “serial offenders” and will even make renting accommodation to an LGBTIQ+ person a jailable offence.
In an impassioned speech, Malema warned that President Museveni – who he described as a tyrant – would use the Anti-Homosexuality Bill as a means to target his political opponents. “He must be stopped and he must be stopped now,” said Malema.
He said that the MPs who passed the legislation should be ashamed of themselves, and compared LGBTIQ+ Ugandans to other oppressed groups such as Palestinians and the people of Eswatini.
“We are here to say to Uganda, as long as the LGBTQ+ community is not free in Uganda, we are not free,” the EFF leader told the crowd.
“We cannot allow any regime in the world to kill people on the basis of identity. It can’t be correct that you identify people on the basis of hatred and you kill them.
“So we are saying to Museveni, leave the people the way they are. It is not our problem, it is not your problem, it is not a problem,” Malema continued.
“There is barbarism, there is stupidity in the bill. If Museveni knows what is good for him, he must not sign it into law. Gay rights are human rights!” he exclaimed.
Members of the EFF picketed outside Uganda’s High Commission against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill on Tuesday (Photo: EFF)
Malema also presented a memorandum opposing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill with several demands to a representative from the high commission.
The demands include Uganda ending all laws that discriminate against LGBTIQ+ people and stopping anti-LGBTIQ+ rhetoric and hate speech, and for the government to undertake mass sensitisation and education of the public about LGBTIQ+ human rights.
Many comments on the EFF Facebook page expressed opposition to the party’s stance on LGBTIQ+ equality, largely based on the false notion that homosexuality is alien to Africans and is being imposed on the continent by the West.
“No Julius not cool going against African customs, sell out to the colonial sick nations,” commented one man.
“Allow Uganda to make their own laws, and this law of anti homosexuality is consistent with their culture. I support the president of Uganda. Say No to European culture and ideology,” said another.
The EFF addressed these dangerous and ill-informed narratives in its memorandum, stating:
“Africa has no place for religious fundamentalism, as well as the preservation of colonial laws that seek to control the sex lives of Black people, and instil feelings of hatred and intolerance over sexual orientation.
“The historical evidence of the lives our people have lived pays homage to the diverse lifestyles our people lived pre-colonisation. It is thus, a false argument to claim African tradition or culture, to preserve the hatred of fellow Africans, based on their gender performance and sexual orientation.”