Wikileaks: Ugandan First Lady “Ultimately Behind” Anti-Homosexuality Bill
September 10th, 2011
Tomorrow’s edition of Sunday Monitor, Uganda’s largest independent newspaper, cites leaked diplomatic cables to report that Ugandan First Lady, Janet Museveni, was behind the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. According to Sunday Monitor’s reading of Wikileaks cables, Senior Presidential adviser John Nagenda revealed this to U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, Jerry Lanier:
In Mr Lanier’s comments which were leaked on September 1, by whistleblower Wikileaks, Mr Nagenda is quoted to have told the US embassy that President Museveni is “quite intemperate” when it comes to homosexuality, but the First Lady, who he described as ‘a very extreme woman,’ “is ultimately behind the bill.”
Mr Nagenda said [Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba] Buturo is using the anti-homosexuality legislation to redefine himself and “will do anything in his power to be a populist.” He advised the US and other donors to refrain from publicly condemning the Bill as this fuels the anti-homosexual and anti-western rhetoric of the Bill’s proponents.
Mr Nagenda further told the US government that the bill’s most vociferous public supporter, the ex-Ethics and Integrity Minister Nsaba Buturo, was responsible for a campaign of mass arrests – known by the Swahili term ‘panda gari’ – during the Obote II regime.
Mr. Nagenda verified the conversation with a Sunday Monitor reporter. In December of 2009 as the controversy over the Anti-Homosexuality Bill exploded on the international stage, Nagenda published an op-ed in the government-aligned New Vision opposing the bill. The appearance of the op-ed in the pro-government newspaper was seen as a positive development at the time.
The revelation that Janet Museveni is one of the driving forces behind the Anti-Homosexuality Bill once again casts a light onto the influence that American-based Dominionist movements such as the New Apostolic Reformation and its Seven Mountains Mandate exerts in Uganda. Janet Museveni has reportedly spoken at several conferences around the world hosted by Ed Silvoso, and CEO of the International Transformation Network (ITN) and an apostle in C. Peter Wagner’s International Coalition of Apostles. Silvoso has also been a guest of the Museveni’s at State House. Video of Museveni speaking at one such gathering can be seen here.
In 2010, Janet Museveni spoke at a youth conference at Kampala’s prestigious Makarere University and said, “In God’s word, homosexuality attracts a curse, but now people are engaging in it and saying they are created that way. It is for money… The devil is stoking fires to destroy our nation and those taking advantage are doing so because our people are poor.” More recently, she was the guest speaker at the inaugural dinner for members of the Ninth Parliament sponsored by the Ugandan Fellowship, a branch of the U.S.-based secretive group known as the C Street Fellowship or The Family. M.P. David Bahati, the author of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, had recent been elevated to chairman of the Ugandan Fellowship as well as caucus Vice Chair for the ruling party.
Janet Museveni is currently a member of Parliament representing Ruhaama County, located in the far southwest of the country near the border with Rwanda. She also holds a cabinet position as Minister for Karamoja Affairs. The restive Karamoja District is located at the opposite corner of Uganda, alongside its border with Kenya.
If this report is correct, it appears to indicate something of a schism within the Museveni family. Other cables posted on Wikileaks last February revealed that President Yoweri Museveni had assured U.S. diplomats that he would not allow the Anti-Homosexuality Bill to become law, and reminded them “that ‘someone in Uganda’, meaning himself, is handling the matter.” He also echoed Nagenda’s advice that too much outside pressure could backfire on his efforts to derail the bill. “Museveni warned outsiders of pushing Africa too hard on this issue, lest it create another hurricane,” the cable read. “Don’t push it, warned Museveni, ‘I’ll handle it’.”
Feb 17, 2011: Wikileaks Posts Cables from US Embassy in Uganda Concerning Anti-Homosexuality Bill
Feb 17, 2011: More Wikileaks Cables on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill
Sep 10, 2011: Wikileaks: Ugandan First Lady “Ultimately Behind” Anti-Homosexuality Bill
Sep 11: 2011: More On Ugandan First Lady’s Support For Anti-Homosexuality Bill
Sep 11, 2011: Wikileaks: Vatican Lobbied Against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill
Sep 12, 2011: Wikileaks on Uganda’s Homosexuality Bill: Museveni “Surprised” and Buturo “Obsessed”
Sep 12, 2011: Ugandan Presidential Aide Confirms Wikileaks Conversation
Sep 23, 2011: Ugandan First Lady Affirms Support For “Kill The Gays” Bill