Transcript of Ugandan President’s Remarks To Ruling Party Meeting
January 13th, 2010
We’ve posted earlier an audio clip of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s remarks to the Executive Council of the ruling National Resistance Movement party meeting at State House, Entebbe yesterday. A BTB reader in Uganda has provided us with a transcript of those remarks.
When I was at the Commonwealth conference, the Prime Minister of Canada came to see me – and what was he talking about? Gays.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown came to see me – what he talking about? Gays.
When I got to New York, when I was coming back, Assistant Secretary Carson called me. What was he ringing me about? Somalia, and Gays.
The other day when I was here Mrs. Clinton rang me. What was she talking about? Gays.
Now, we need to clarify this issue. This motion of gays was brought by a private member, the Honourable Bahati. In fact, I had not even had time to discuss with him, and that’s what I was telling these people. I was telling them “but you’re Democrats.. you’re the ones who have been talking about democracy. Now, this is a private members bill, so why should it cause so much excitement?”
Recently we sat in the cabinet and we said that the cabinet should invite the Honourable Bahati, look at what he’s talking about, and see how they can handle it all of them together.
I think you should listen carefully because its better more minds discuss this and see how to navigate through all this.
But the point I’m making here – I’m using this forum to clarify that this position is not… this issue was not brought by the government, it was not even brought by the party, it was brought by a private member and we have not had time even to discuss with him. Those who are saying we should not discuss with him, I would advise them to trust my judgement – that our foreign policy is not managed just by some individuals we must all be involved.
We have got our values here and our stand.. historically, socially… but we need to know, also, that your partners – the ones who you’ve been working with so much – in fact, you are the ones who work with Europeans more than I do. You are the ones who are always there… in Europe… in America… They have got their system there.
One day… I can talk about this because it happened. I don’t think anybody will say I am misrepresenting anything, because I saw it in the papers… there was a rally in New York of 300,000 homosexuals. Now, I would want to challenge you, Members of Parliament… how many of you, other than me, who have had a rally of 300,000 people? And even me I have not had those rallies very often.
Now, President Clinton was supposed to go there to attend but he didn’t attend… but he sent a message. He said “I have not come, but I’m with you in spirit.”
So therefore, I strongly advise you that you agree to the idea that the cabinet sit down with Bahati, a sub-committee, and see how best to handle this issue because… because… it is a foreign policy issue. It’s not just our internal politics. It is a foreign policy issue, and we must handle it in a way which does not compromise our principles, but also takes into account our foreign policy interests.
When I was discussing with Mrs. Clinton on the phone she did not sound dogmatic. In fact, she appeared sort of… inquisitive, and she was asking me, “how is this problem”? I said, “Even me I don’t know. But I had been told..” (because I really don’t know much about homosexuals, even here). “I’d been told..” that’s what I told her. I said that I had been told… I have heard…(nobody has even really told me, seriously) I have heard… that homosexuals come from Europe, and come here, and try to recruit young people.
Now, that’s why you need to calm down.
Then Mrs. Clinton said, “no, but that’s very bad! That is…” She called it “exploitation”. These were her own words.
She said… I simply said..I have heard… which is true because I don’t really know… and I’ve not studied this issue. I said I have heard that homosexuals come from Europe, they come with money to lure young people into that practice. That’s what I said, on the phone, I said. And what did Mrs. Clinton say? She said “Oh, but that is exploitation”.
So you see that if you take a dialogue approach, you would actually come to… like I had that about 45 minutes on the phone with Mrs. Clinton… and I could see we were getting near each .. err…but I was not very briefed myself.. I did not have the facts.
So therefore, don’t sensationalise this, let’s be systematic among ourselves, and then we dialogue with these Europeans… the Americans… and then we shall come with a final position.
But, for the press… the rumor mongers… Chairman of NRM Yoweri Museveni is telling you, that this is a private member’s motion, number one. It is not a government position, yet… or a party position… and even the private member is still in the process of discussing this with his colleagues, so it is all premature and out of proportion to kick up all this problem.