Mbu the anti homosexuality bill seeks to pull Uganda out of all international treaties and conventions that do not have an explicit anti-homosexuality component. Hehe! I hope we have the capacity to make nuclear weapons because I would hate for us to become an isolated nation without a bargaining chip.
When the anti homosexuality bill first made news, I thought to myself, there we go again Uganda. Having failed to protect our children from death due to diarrhea and worms or give our tax payers decent social services, we have found something we can do decisively and in unity – crush the few hundred Ugandan fags underfoot. Heee! The world is going to fear us. This country they think is well on its way to being a failed state is going to show them that it can be decisive, strong and effective when it feels strongly enough about an issue. Having had my patriotic bone broken eons ago, I decided I would all the same just go on trying to hold down a job I despise and put food on my baby’s plate. When the world begins to fear us, I will join the crowd and thump my chest, proud to be a Ugandan.
Then, somewhere along my pretence at doing my job I stumbled upon the same bill. I think I like it. Infact, I think it is my ticket to becoming Uganda’s Tom Stoppard. Figure a movie called ‘Uganda Doped Up’ by Lydia Namubiru. Just so I am not accused of plagiarism since I fully intend to lift the text of the bill into my script, I am going to marry David Bahati. So make the byline, Lydia Namubiru Bahati.
In the first scene, we see a brigade of Uganda Police cops getting into attack positions around a mud and wattle home in Kinawataka. The cops are armed with big muzzled guns and protected with bullet proof vests. A chopper hovers over the home, with paratroppers ready to jump at the word.
In another scene, police detectives pore over high definition video footage showing the comings and going of two men. “Every late afternoon,” one of the detectives explains to the others, “these two men enter this house and lock themselves in for unnaturally long hours.” Remembering an important detail the detective, abruptly cuts the explanation and radios the troops in the field commanding them to widen the operation by surrounding the next mud and wattle house as well. “This house,” he turns back to his collegues to explain, “belongs to one Anasitazia Nakamatte, mother to one of our suspects. She is believed to be an accomplice in these men’s criminal activities.” We see more footage showing the said woman delivering food to the son’s ‘hide-out’. The footage also gives us a small glimpse of the son’s bare chest when he opens the door a little to take the food. Hullo? No one writes a movie without a bit of sexy in there!
Getting approving nods around the table for the mission, the commander radios his field troops and curtly commands, “Attack!” A paratropper jumps out of the chopper into the target hut through the tin roof which he spectacularly shutters in the process. The two male occupants of the room scamper to the furthest edges of the wall away from him. The men are barely dressed save for their small and torn-in-places underpants. With Jack Bauer speed, the commando handcuffs the men leading into waiting police vehicles. Another cop is seen leading an elderly woman into another police vehicle. The scene ends with the twelve police vehicles involved in the operation driving away with their sirens blaring.
Next scene is in court. The two men are being prosecuted by the state of Uganda for homosexuality while the elderly woman is facing charges of aiding homosexuality.
In court the men admit to sharing living space for economic reason but the state produces evidence such as their nearly nude state at the time of arrest and the fact that there was only one bed in the house to show that indeed they were homosexuals caught in the act. The papers are awash with stories of the case, quoting statistics that show that the men’s claim does not hold water. “Although 50% of Ugandans live below the poverty line, there is no statistics to show that men choose to share beds with other men as a cost saving measure,” the leading daily says. “Cultural experts rule out any truth in the suspects’ claim saying that African culture abhors the idea of men sharing beds,” it goes on. The court process goes on and on (am still working on the story line here) but eventually the two men are found guilty as is the woman. The men get life sentences while the woman gets seven years. Proud Ugandans match the streets of Kampala in celebration of the land mark case. Back in Kinawataka, naked children run around throwing themselves in the slimy muddy in their compounds as they re-enact the police operation of many months ago. Uganda makes international headlines and my husband Bahati is invited to speak on TBN hosted by your truly, Pat Robertson. I tell you, we are gonna be big, aren’t we?
Yes, we are destined for big things but I am afraid my big budget movie won’t make it to the big markets once we become an isolated state. The bill proposes that we pull out of international treaties that are not explicitly anti-gay? Cooool! Boy, aren’t the treaties going to miss us! But, now look. We need a plan. If we are going to pull out of the UN, de-register ourselves from the World Bank and even nullify that little treaty banning the use of landmines, we need a plan. No nation goes down the isolated country road without a plan on how it is going to remain a world wide concern nonetheless. Either you sacrifice a whole generation by exposing them to radiation as you try to make nuclear bombs under poor conditions or you turn your land into the most dangerous place in the world. The former is working for North Korea and the latter for Somalia and Afghanstan. We need to take our pick if we are going to remain on world maps at all. If the international press gets too nosy about the consequences of whatever path we choose, the state can always send me to the Western world. I will sell them my movie as proof that things are so ok in Uganda that even mundane careers like the arts are flourishing.