Peering through the smokescreen

As I read this I think of an article I had the misfortune to read and I wonder how it is that so many of our learned people in Zambia can’t see that the same tactic is being used in our country?

As our now discarded draft constitution was being formulated, no single subject was as contentious as that fearsome act of homosexuality. By the time critical issues such as our voting system and local government autonomy were brought to the public’s attention they were almost an afterthought, everyone’s energy and enthusiasm had been spent. It was left to small groups of dedicated politicians and civil society to do battle.

What better way to discredit a politician than to claim that he will legalise homosexuality in homophobic society? Better still make the accusations while a major kingdom is threatening accession.

What will happen next? Will prominent opposition and civil society members suddenly be accused of being gay? Will the public be able to see that a tactic to discredit and possibly criminalise them?

While Ugandans are being shot dead and maimed on the streets for protesting the impoverishment, their parliament is holding hearings on their anti-homosexuality bill instead of the tackling the situation in which their people live. The people have identified their needs through their acts of protest. They are stating that their immediate needs are a decent standard of living and democracy, no one is protesting against homosexuality. Yet this is what is on the Ugandan government’s agenda.

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