Dr Abed Bwanika petitions NUP to clarify stance on LGBT+Q amid controversy

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Dr Abed Bwanika petitions NUP to clarify stance on LGBT+Q amid controversy
Abed Bwanika

Masaka City's Kimaanya Kabonera Division - Dr Abed Bwanika has submitted a petition to the National Unity Platform (NUP) leadership, requesting a clear and decisive stance on LGBT+Q issues.

The petition, received by John Baptist Nambeshe, Deputy President of NUP's Eastern Region, addresses concerns regarding the party's perceived ambiguity regarding LGBT+Q rights.

Dr. Bwanika emphasized the urgency of the matter, highlighting widespread fears among the public regarding NUP's alleged support for homosexuality.

He referred to specific incidents that have contributed to these concerns, including statements made by NUP President Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, during interviews on international media platforms.

One particular controversial moment arose from Kyagulanyi's interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation in December 2023, where he seemed to advocate for LGBT+Q rights, despite the existence of Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act and Penal Code.

"We firmly believe in human rights for all Ugandans," Dr. Bwanika quoted from the interview.

Dr Bwanika also raised suspicions surrounding Kyagulanyi's alleged associations with international LGBT+Q activists and sponsors, such as Rev. Jesse Jackson and US Secretary for Transport Pete Buttigieg.

He pointed out instances where Kyagulanyi's attire appeared to align with LGBT+Q fashion trends, such as wearing a "bell-bottom fashion dress and purple colours" during the BAFTA award ceremony in London, which raised questions within the party.

Expressing concerns about potential financial support from LGBT+Q organizations to NUP, Dr. Bwanika suggested that it might have influenced leadership decisions, including the removal of former Leader of the Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga, due to his differing stance on LGBT+Q issues.

Dr Bwanika called for an immediate meeting of a legitimate organ within NUP to clarify the party's position on LGBT+Q rights. He emphasized the importance of transparency in addressing concerns among Ugandans, particularly parents worried about the influence of such issues on their children within the party.

The petition was also copied to key figures within NUP leadership, including Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, the party president, and Joel Bisekezi Senyonyi, the Leader of the Opposition and the Party Spokesperson, among others.

In 2023, during an interview with the international broadcaster BBC, Kyagulanyi argued that the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which had received support from over 90% of Members of Parliament, was not passed in the interest of Ugandans but as a tool to oppress the opposition.

Kyagulanyi appeared on BBC while in London after a ten-year visa ban due to his anti-gay lyrics.

Bobi Wine had been barred from entering the UK by the Home Office based on his 2014 release of anti-gay lyrics, in which he encouraged the public to "shoot all the battymen."

When asked to clarify his position on LGBT+Q rights, Kyagulanyi stated that he had grown and transformed, aspiring to be "known for a leader that is respectful and inclusive of everybody."

He further alleged that Museveni had deliberately sponsored the law not to protect the interests of the people of Uganda, but to target the opposition.

When questioned about why his NUP MPs voted in favour of the law in its entirety, Kyagulanyi acknowledged, "Sure, in my party, I have MPs who are working with Gen Museveni."

However, he did not disclose the identities of the MPs cooperating with the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).

The BBC host pressed further, asking whether Kyagulanyi would repeal the Anti-Homosexuality Law if elected as Uganda's president, to which he responded, "I would be very cautious because I know it was largely targeting the opposition, mainly myself."

Kyagulanyi appears to find himself torn between projecting an image of a liberal leader in the Western societies where most of his donors are based and maintaining political support among his predominantly conservative countrymen.

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