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Posts for September, 2011

Ugandan First Lady Affirms Support For “Kill The Gays” Bill

Jim Burroway

September 23rd, 2011

Uganda’s First Lady and Member of Parliament Janet Museveni confirmed her support for the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill in an op-ed published yesterday in the pro-government New Vision newspaper. Museveni complains that press freedoms in Uganda have encouraged “elements within the media who have abused the environment of free expression, by making themselves available to the highest bidder in the political arena with all its ugly wars,” and points to recent reports of a Wikileaks cache illuminating her support for the bill. In yesterday’s op-ed, she wrote:

The second Daily Monitor report alleges that I am the initiator of the Gay Bill. This ludicrous claim is not only an insult to Hon. Bahati, the originator of the bill but also to me, because it implies that I need to hide behind someone else in order to introduce a bill in parliament.

I believe Ugandans know by now that I have always had the courage to stand by my convictions – even when they go against the grain of prevailing popular opinion. I think I have adequately demonstrated, in my work over the years, that I can boldly stand by what I believe in without fear or favour.

Last month, Wikileaks published U.S. diplomatic cables which described a meeting between U.S. diplomats and Ugandan Senior Presidential adviser John Nagenda and U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, Jerry Lanier. According the the dispatch, Nagenda said that Janet Museveni was “ultimately behind” the draconian legislation that would have imposed the death penalty on LGBT Ugandans. It remains unclear from the context whether being “ultimately behind” was intended to mean that the bill was her initiative, or whether she was placing her support behind the bill. Evidence appears to point to the latter, but even if her involvement is limited to support, it is still no small matter when the support comes from the wife of a powerful President.

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

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

More On Ugandan First Lady’s Support For Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Jim Burroway

September 11th, 2011

Following our initial report yesterday on the leaked U.S. State Department cables fingering Uganda First Lady Janet Museveni as being “ultimately behind” the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, a reader left a comment giving a link to the Wikileaks cable in question, and Paul Canning has more about the cable here.  The relevant section begins with a brief description of Paul Nagenda, whose December 12, 2009 column in the pro-government New Vision was seen as an encouraging sign that there were powerful vioces in the government against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.  The cable describes Neganda as “one adviser against many“:

The New Vision published a column by senior presidential advisor John Nagenda against the draft anti-homosexuality legislation on December 12. Nagenda is known for challenging prevailing political winds, and has previously advised President Museveni against running for re-election in 2011. His column compared the bill to McCarthyism and the Inquisition, and urged Parliament to vote against it. In a separate discussion with PolOff (political officer), Nagenda said the New Vision – which is edited by a Dutch national – initially refused to run his column, and agreed only after Nagenda threatened to never again write for the newspaper. Nagenda said he felt morally obligated to speak out against the legislation, and accused those behind it of obfuscating differences between homosexuality, rape, incest, and pedophilia.

Nagenda said President Museveni is “quite intemperate” when it comes to homosexuality, but that the President will likely recognize the dangers of passing the anti-homosexuality legislation. He said First Lady Janet Museveni, who he described as a “very extreme woman”, is ultimately behind the bill. He added that the bill’s most vociferous public supporter, Ethics and Integrity Minister Nsaba Buturo, is a “very bad guy” responsible for a campaign of mass arrests – known by the Swahili term ‘panda gari’ – during the early 1980s under the Obote II regime while serving as Kampala’s District Commissioner. Nagenda said Buturo is using the anti-homosexuality legislation to redefine himself and “will do anything in his power to be a populist.” He advised the U.S. 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.

The fear about outside pressure having a negative effect on efforts to block the bill were echoed by a human rights lawyer, described as the “only human rights lawyer working to defend Ugandan homosexuals against charges under pre-existing anti-homosexuality laws.” The lawyer urged the international community to publicly oppose the bill, but said that threats to cut assistance as Sweden had already done “is counter productive and emboldens those pushing the legislation.”

The cable also reveals that members of the local gay community expressed fears over their security in the hostile environment stoked by the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Members of the community were also very nervous over a very high-profile interview of LGBT advocate Valery Kalende that appeared on the front page of the main opposition newspaper, Daily MonitorAccording to the cable:

Local gay and lesbian activists pleaded with one member, Val Kalende, to reconsider a feature interview with the opposition newspaper the Daily Monitor. The Monitor ran the interview as the front page story, along with several photographs of Kalende, on December 12. Published under an anonymous byline, the article provides a striking and remarkably well-written portrait of Kalende’s struggle against rising discrimination and hatred. After describing her initial reaction to (M.P. David) Bahati’s anti-homosexuality bill, Kalende said: “for the first time, I am very scared.” Bahati’s bill, said Kalende, “is not about homosexuality. It effects everyone; my pastor, my friends. It is not about us gays. Homosexuality is not about sodomizing young boys. What about relationships among people who are not hurting anyone?” The Monitor interview included a sidebar that dispassionately provided the facts about human homosexuality – its history and universality – and thus implicitly debunked many of the most absurd claims made by the bill’s proponents.

The first lady’s strident support for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill goes directly against President Yoweri Museveni’s attempts to sideline the bill, pointing to a political division within the Museveni family. Another cable dated September 23, 2009, reveals, amid corruption allegations against the First Lady, that Janet Museveni has no ambitions to be President, preferring to remain “the power behind the throne,” and that the president is grooming his son to eventually take power:

(Ruling party insider Mike) Mukula said Museveni was increasingly patterning himself after Robert Mugabe and wants to position his son, Lieutenant Colonel Muhoozi Kainerugaba Museveni, as his eventual successor. Muhoozi returned from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in mid-2008 to assume command of the new Special Forces, a still-murky component – or potentially entirely separate unit – of the praetorian Presidential Guard Brigade comprised of all the PGB’s elite, technical, and specialized non-infantry capabilities.

However, Paul Canning points to an op-ed appearing in this morning’s Sunday Monitor questioning whether the first lady has truly given up presidential ambitions herself.

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

Wikileaks: Ugandan First Lady “Ultimately Behind” Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Jim Burroway

September 10th, 2011

Ugandan First Lady Janet Museveni

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’.”

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

“Kill The Gays” Bill Author Elevated In Ugandan “Family” and Ruling Party

Jim Burroway

June 21st, 2011

Ugandan MP David Bahati (AP Photo/Ronald Kabuubi)

There had been speculation that MP David Bahati, author of 2009’s draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill, would be appointed to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s cabinet at the start of the Ninth Parliament last month. Mercifully, that hasn’t happened. But Bahati’s star nevertheless is rising in the inner circle of Ugandan politics. Last week, Daily Monitor, Uganda’s largest independent newspaper, reported that Bahati has been named the ruling party’s caucus Vice Chairman. He had originally held the title of caucus treasurer.

And that’s not all. The government-affiliated New Vision today reports that Bahati has been named chairman of the Ugandan Fellowship, a branch of the U.S.-based secretive group known as the C Street Fellowship or The Family. The Ugandan fellowship held its inaugural dinner for members of the Ninth Parliament at the Sheraton Hotel Kampala on Friday. While Bahati is now the ruling party’s caucus vice chairman, he stressed that the Fellowship was open to members of all parties:

The chairman of the parliamentary fellowship, David Bahati, said the caucus of God is bigger than all other caucuses and does not discriminate against political affiliations.

The parliamentary fellowship was founded in 1986 by the late Hon. Balaki Kirya, and has since 1991 been organising a prayer breakfast on every October 8.

Bahati said the fellowship, initiated some bills like the Anti- Homosexuality and Anti-Pornography believes in a God led country and God led policies. [sic]

The guest speaker of the inaugural dinner was First Lady and MP, Janet Museveni, who told the gathering:

Members of the 9th Parliament have been urged to enact laws and policies that will build a better Uganda.

The First Lady and minister for Karamoja affairs, Janet Museveni, said this would enable the future generations to live in a better and prosperous country.

Mrs. Museveni said it is God who sets seasons and times, therefore those elected to the 9th Parliament should recognise and fulfil God’s purpose.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which would have provided for the death sentence for the crime of “aggravated homosexuality,” died last month at the close of the Eighth Parliament. Despite numerous inaccurate news reports to the contrary, the bill was not amended to remove the death penalty. Bahati has since vowed to reintroduce the bill into the new Parliament.

African Homophobia Moves Forward As Ugandan Archbishop Threatens Schism

Jim Burroway

August 20th, 2010

Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, speaking at a provincial assembly of the Anglican Church in Uganda.

More talk of schism is coming out of Africa, this time from Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, head of the Anglican Church in Uganda. Speaking at the opening of a three-day provincial Assembly in Mukono, Orombi declared that the Anglican Communion is “broken”:

What I can tell you is that the Anglican Church is very broken,” Bishop Orombi said. “It (church) has been torn at its deepest level, and it is a very dysfunctional family of the provincial churches. It is very sad for me to see how far down the church has gone.”

He proposed that the Church of Uganda engages church structures at a very minimal level until godly faith and order have been restored. “I can assure you that we have tried as a church to participate in the processes, but they are dominated by western elites, whose main interest is advancing a vision of Anglicanism that we do not know or recognise. We are a voice crying in the wilderness,” he said at the Church’s top assembly that convenes every two years.

By “engaging church structures at a very minimal level,” Orombi is referring to the Ugandan church’s participation in the worldwide Anglican Communion. African Bishops have been increasingly restive over overtures that the Anglican Communion in the west has made toward LGBT inclusion, particularly with the ordination of gay bishops in the United States.

Principal Judge of the High Court of Uganda, Justice James Ogoola, was also at the Anglican meeting in Uganda. According to Uganda’s Daily Monitor, Ogoola spoke of the court’s “need to deeply reflect on the fear of God.”

Tensions continue to rise throughout much of Africa as countries become increasingly homophobic. Burundi, a little to the south of Uganda, is the only nation in the world buck the last two decades’ decriminalization trend by adding homosexuality to its criminal statutes in 2008. Malawi has just gone through its own spasm of anti-gay prosecutions with arrest, conviction, and subsequent pardon of a couple who held a traditional engagement ceremony in late 2009.

And back in Uganda, the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced into Parliament in October, 2009, which would add the death penalty under certain circumstances and change the legal definitions of homosexuality to make prosecution much easier. It would also lead to criminal penalties for anyone renting to or providing services for LGBT people, and would impose a three year prison sentence for failure to report LGBT people to police.

Due largely to international outcry, that bill remains bottled up in two Parliamentary committees, where it appears likely the bill may quietly die when this Parliament ends with the 2011 elections. The bill still does not appear on Parliament’s final agenda. Speaker of Parliament Edward Ssekandi has sent Parliament into recess until September 13 in order to accommodate party primaries in advance of the elections. When Parliament returns, the main business is expected to be passing the budget. After that is done, there will be tremendous pressure to adjourn Parliament so MP’s can campaign for re-election.

But that doesn’t mean the danger has passed for Uganda’s LGBT community. While Uganda’s law currently calls for a lifetime prison sentence depending on how prosecutors chose to press charges, much of the day-to-day struggles LGBT people face stem more from societal attitudes which are amplified from time to time by media, politicians, and other opinion makers. Uganda media are prone to waging public vigilante campaigns in which ordinary LGBT citizens are named and places of residence and employment are identified. The most recent major campaign occured in April, 2009, shortly after an anti-gay conference put on by three American anti-gay activists the month before. Another smaller-scale campaign broke out in December at the height of the controversy over the draconian legislation.

First Lady Janet Museveni

While the anti-gay legislation appears to be on hold, Uganda’s leaders continue to issue anti-gay statements. It is widely believed in Uganda and elsewhere in Africa that homosexuality is a Western import, and that it is spread by Americans and Europeans who supposedly bribe young Ugandans to become gay. First lady Janet Museveni, speaking on a wide range of moral issues at a youth convention two weeks ago, condemned pro-gay advocacy which she described as an abomination in the African culture:

“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,” she said.

Mrs. Museveni advised the youth not only to listen to messages on how they can make money but also focus on spiritual growth. “You know that you will lose everything else when you lose your soul.

Rags To Riches In Africa: Become a Pastor

Jim Burroway

July 3rd, 2010

Dan Savage was tipped to a Ugandan Pastor that is speaking at a Seattle-area church, and asked me if I knew who he was. I hadn’t heard of him, and neither had any of my Ugandan contacts. So I responded:

I’m afraid I’ve never heard of this guy. Uganda is crawling with evangelical pastors. All it takes is a white shirt and a tin-roof shack somewhere and suddenly you’re a pastor. And in some cases you don’t even need a shack. Just a street corner will do. And if one of them can finagle a trip to the US where Ugandan pastors are very fashionable, they’ve hit the motherlode.

I have no idea whether this Frank Butyai is legitimate. But the larger point stands: becoming a pastor in a desperately poor country has been a proven pathway to riches, so says The Economist:

Ms Wanjiru’s own church, Jesus Is Alive Ministries, is a good example of the new genre. She can draw 100,000 worshippers to a meeting. Add in a visiting televangelist and the number can rise to as many as 500,000. Ms Wanjiru has lived the Pentecostal dream. She is from a poor family of casual labourers and eked out a life as a housemaid and toilet cleaner before working her way up to a marketing job. She then experienced a vision from God calling on her to save Africa. These days videos, CDs and other accessories can be bought from her website using credit cards or phone credit. She makes good use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media. She is not afraid to court controversy, last year baptising the boss of the Mungiki organised-crime outfit, Maina Njenga. Mr Njenga’s gang had been involved in extortion and had a history of hacking off the heads of its enemies.

But the business of owner-operated churches is competitive. A few dud sermons and the crowd thins. That is one reason why they are so upbeat and aspirational. …However, there is also plenty of hucksterism. You will be blessed with health and wealth by God, congregants are told, especially if you give generously. As in other parts of the world, the new churches in Kenya and Uganda provide a place for the ambitious poor to get ahead….

Pastor Samuel "Kiwedde" Muwanguzi's Humvee, complete with vanity plate.

Get ahead, indeed. The sight of Ugandan pastors driving Humvees and other expensive SUV’s is not uncommon. And of course, you can’t talk about Evangelical pastors in Africa without mentioning Martin Ssempa:

A Ugandan Pentecostal preacher, Martin Ssempa, for instance, has mined a rich seam of homophobia in Uganda to help build up his standing. He and other Pentecostals pushed for the tabling of an anti-homosexuality bill in the Ugandan parliament, which advocates spying on gays and proscribes imprisonment for sodomy. Earlier versions of the law called for the death penalty in some instances. [Editor’s note: This is incorrect. Despite reports like this to the contrary, the bill has never been officially modified to remove the death penalty.] Mr Ssempa has in the past had ties with a prominent American evangelical, Rick Warren (who has condemned the anti-gay law), and with Uganda’s born-again first lady, Janet Museveni. “In Africa sodomy is an abomination,” he says. Some of his actions, such as screening gay pornography to his congregants, look clownish and self-publicising, but Mr Ssempa has been astute in targeting students at Makere, Uganda’s best university.

One of Ssempa’s most reliable backers in America continues to be Las Vegas-based Canyon Ridge Christian Church, which remains a member in good standing of the Willow Creek Association.

Seven Mountains Theology At the Heart of Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill

Jim Burroway

December 4th, 2009

Yesterday, Warren Throckmorton began delving into the “Seven Mountains” theology that has surfaced in investigations into American Evangelical ties to the current Anti-Homosexuality Act which has been put before Uganda’s Parliament. Today, Bruce Wilson, of the New Apostolic Reformation Research Group, has published a major exposé on extensive ties between those behind Uganda’s latest draconian proposal and American Evangelicals. Again, “Seven Mountains” theology appears to be at the core.

According to news reports, the Anti-Homosexuality Act was tabled before Parliament on October 14, but that wasn’t the first time discussions surrounding the proposal occurred in the chamber. A transcript of Parliamentary proceedings from April 29, have come to light which show MP David Bahati first introducing the bill before Parliament. This is likely to have been similar to the draft dated April 20, 2009 that we obtained in September. (The current bill is dated September 25.) According to the Parliamentary transcript, the Speaker noted several distinguished visitors in the gallery before turning the floor over to MP Bahati:

Let us hear from hon. Bahati. In connection with the motion he is moving, we have in the gallery Apostle Julius Peter Oyet, Vice-President of the Born Again Federation; Pastor Dr Martin Sempa of the Family Policy Centre; Stephen Langa, Family Life Network; hon. Godfrey Nyakaana; the Mayor of Kampala City Council; Julius, a young boy who was sodomised, and his mother. His story has been in the press. They are all here in the gallery. Please, let us deal with them so that they can leave. There is also George Oundo who came out to speak against homosexuality. Please, let us balance the public good and our good since all of them are important. We shall do them all very quickly. Hon. Bahati.

For longtime BTB readers, many of these names are familiar. Stephen Langa organized the anti-gay conference in Kampala in March featuring three American Anti-Gay activists which ultimately kicked off this latest round of anti-gay vigilantism and, eventually, this bill. Martin Ssempa has enjoyed close ties with many American Evangelicals, most notably Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren. Ssempa has used the latest anti-gay furor to exact revenge against rival pastors by accusing them of homosexuality. Those accusations were unfounded, and Ssempa himself is the subject of a police investigation for filing false reports. George Oundo is the unstable so-called “ex-gay” who participated in several acts of vigilantism in the media.

"Apostle" Julius Oyet

"Apostle" Julius Oyet

But one name we haven’t paid much attention to — and should — is that of the self-designated “Apostle” Julius Peter Oyet. He’s vice-president of the Born Again Federation, and umbrella group of some 10,000 Ugandan Pentecostal churches. He is also head of Lifeline Ministries. According to Throckmorton and Wilson, Oyet has gained favor and influence with Uganda President Yoweri Museveni for going to Northern Uganda and praying over territory once controlled by the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army. His prayers reportedly resulted in the “miraculous” return of hundreds of child soldiers abducted by the LRA, as well as other fantastic stories of miraculous healings, cleansing of poisoned rivers, casting out demons, and the like.

Oyet is an adherent to “Seven Mountains” theology, a Dominionist theology that calls upon Christians to “establish the Kingdom of God on earth” by claiming possession to “the Seven Mountains of Culture namely: Business, Government, Religion, Family, Media, Education and Entertainment.”  Warren Throckmorton explains:

This viewpoint seems to be quite popular among those who follow C. Peter Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation. Wagner is the Presiding Apostle for the International Council of Apostles, a subsidiary of Global Harvest Ministries which admits new apostles by invitation only.

Wagner’s 2008 book Dominion: How Kingdom Action Can Change the World, is described by the publisher as an exploration of “the biblical roots of dominion theology.” According to Wagner, the task of the church is less about individual salvation and more about taking dominion over the culture by reclaiming seven domains: family, business, arts & entertainment, government, media, education, and religion.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, Caleb Lee Brundidge, one of the speakers at that anti-gay conference at Kampala last march, is a member of a group called Extreme Prophetic, which also adheres to Seven Mountains theology.

Bruce Wilson’s report at Talk to Action takes up the thread from there:

Some observers have wondered if Purpose Driven Life author and mega-evangelist Rick Warren has had a role in the globally controversial bill, especially because of Warren’s close association with Ugandan anti-gay activist Martin Ssempa and, more broadly, because Warren has refused to denounce the anti-gay bill.

To little notice, a charismatic network overseen by Warren’s doctoral dissertation advisor, C. Peter Wagner, has played a major role in politically organizing and inspiring the Ugandan legislators who have spearheaded the anti-gay bill.

Wagner is the Convening Apostle in a movement of charismatic networks which has extended its reach from the United States to Uganda, and worldwide. Under its umbrella of authority are virulently anti-gay apostles in the United States and Uganda including Lou Engle of TheCall, who led thousands of young people in a twelve hour November 1, 2008 stadium rally in support of California’s anti-gay marriage Proposition Eight.

The San Diego event closed with Engle, a member of Wagner’s inner circle of “prophets,” calling for Christian martyrs. Peter Wagner heads the New Apostolic Reformation, which he openly touts as an effort to take Christian dominion over the globe by putting “born again” believers around the world under the authority of these apostles and prophets.

Both C. Peter Wagner and Rick Warren want to transform the world, and both have proclaimed the advent of a second Reformation. Wagner calls it the New Apostolic Reformation, while for Rick Warren this is a “purpose driven” effort powered by Warren’s global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. In Uganda both visions for societal transformation appear to include the categorical elimination of homosexuality – by any means.

The word “transform” is key. Wilson identifies Julius Oyet as a one of Wagner’s Apostles, and is featured in one of the movement’s Transformations series of video documentaries. Wilson says these videos “depict cities and even whole nations transformed to earthly utopias when charismatic Christians take control of societal structures and government.” The “Transformations” ideas promoted these videos have spawned Transformation organizations around the world, including the International Transformation Network

Oyet is also identified as being the head of the Uganda division of the College of Prayer International. BTB readers may recall from last month that MP David Bahati, who introduced the Anti-Homosexualty Act into Parliament, and MP Benson Obua-Ogwa, identified as one of the bill’s cosponsors, are core members of the College of Prayer International’s Uganda branch. They were appointed as two of eight MP’s to serve on the Christian “servant leadership team” in Parliament for three years.

Some parts of Wilson’s report covers some of the same ground that we’ve reported, but his well-researched report goes much deeper than anyone has been able to accomplish so far. He does an excellent job of not only tying it all together, but demonstrating how Seven Mountains theology works, as adherents seek to infiltrate the seven spheres of cultural influence — particularly the governmental sphere. He also documents the close ties that these groups have with the President and First Lady of Uganda. For example:

A March 8th, 2007 news release, hosted on the official web site of Republic of Uganda State House, reveals the extent to which the Transformations model is being integrated into Ugandan government policy:

“President Yoweri Museveni and his wife Mrs. Janet Museveni today hosted at State House, Nakasero 2 officials of California based Harvest Evangelism. Founder and President of Harvest Evangelism Mr. Ed Silvoso was accompanied by Mr. Graham Power.” According to the release, the Musevenis discussed with Silvoso and Power “issues pertaining to investment opportunities in the country particularly road construction and the development of infrastructure.”

Ed Silvoso is an apostle in C. Peter Wagner’s International Coalition of Apostles and is CEO of the International Transformation Network (ITN). Janet Museveni has spoken at several Transformation conferences around the world including one hosted by Silvoso’s Argentina-based ministry.

So now we see how Peter Wagner’s “Seven Mountain” theology is having a very real impact in Uganda. And with Rick Warren as Wagner’s protegé, Warren’s refusal to take a stand on the impending disaster in Uganda is starting to make sense. One would think that denouncing such a draconian attempt at criminalization would be easy to denounce, but Warren can’t find it in his heart to do so.

The more we look at the ties between American Evangelicals and Uganda’s political leadership, the more we see the true nature of what the American Evangelical movement has in store for LGBT people if they get their way. One Uganda pastor called the proposal “genocide.” That’s an extreme word describing an extreme situation. But the more we learn, the more it looks like it’s not hyperbole after all. This is real.

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.