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Ugandan Presidential Aide Confirms Wikileaks Conversation

Jim Burroway

September 12th, 2011

John Nagenda: "An accurate reflection."

Perhaps that headline should read “Former Ugandan Presidential Aide…”. There now appears to be a falling out between John Nagenda and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. The revelation via Wikileaks of Nagenda’s frank accusation that Uganda’s First Lady Janet Museveni is “ultimately behind” the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill would certainly provide sufficient cause for the split, but this article in Uganda’s The Observer points to a more substantial dispute that’s been brewing for some time. Go read the article for more background information, but as far as his comments concerning the First Lady’s support for the bill is concerned, Nagenda confirms the cable’s message:

In an interview with The Observer on Saturday, Nagenda admitted holding the said meeting with US Embassy officials and added that he maintains the views he shared with them.

“Yes; one or two words may be slightly different. I held a conversation with the political officer and it’s an accurate reflection in the sense that I said that the President is very strongly anti-gay, but I doubted that he would support such a bill. I did accurately predict that he wouldn’t support the bill. It was extreme,” Nagenda said.

“On the First Lady – it’s a long time ago – but what I meant is that she holds very strong views where she sees morality.”

Nagenda also said he advised the donors that their threat to cut aid because of the bill was “very stupid” because Ugandans would think they were out to fight the country, “so people would dig in their heels more by supporting the bill”.

He also had critical words concerning former Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo.

In December of 2009 as international controversy exploded over the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 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.

See also:
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

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