REV. PATRICK LEUBEN MUKAJANGA (McCarthy) writes:
MY CURRENT THREATENING SITUATION AS AN LGBTI ACTIVIST IN UGANDA AFTER THE PASSING OF THE ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY BILL AND AFTER PRESIDENT MUSEVENI VOWING TO CRUSH ACTIVISTS:
My name is Rev. Patrick Leuben Mukajanga (McCarthy). I am a Ugandan gay activist. For a long time I have been vibrant and committed to the lgbti struggle in Uganda. I have been at the forefront of many lgbti campaigns in the country centered in health advocacy (HIV/AIDS), human rights advocacy, public sensitization campaigns about lgbti persons and other lgbti community events such as the Beach Pride events (Uganda gay pride) of 2012 and 2013, pastoral and educational programs for the spiritual rehabilitation of Ugandan lgbti members .
I have eschewed any focus on material benefits, such as a consistent, sustaining salar. I have lived a hard life and have dependied on small allowances received while working on community projects leaving me with not enough funds to meet daily needs such as rent, transport, feeding and accommodation, medication and other emergencies.
All this has finally exposed me to the homophobic public thus creating a serious on my life. I have faced many evictions from many places of residence and arrests, such as the one of 27thJuly 2013 when I received rainbow flags for the Beach Pride 2013 at the main post office, I lived a homeless life for a period until a fellow activist helped me by digging his own pockets to get a place to stay.
I have been outed in many national tabloids like the Red Pepper calling me and my other colleagues Recruiters of Ugandan Children into Homosexuality and as ones promoting so-called imported vices into Uganda. I have lived a life of threats both online over Facebook and through anonymous phone calls saying they want my head one day since I’m a disgrace to Ugandan, and to African culture at large.
My neighbors have threatened to harm me as soon as the president signs the anti homosexuality bill into an act which gives the right to my fellow citizens to hand over lgbti to the police once they decide one is gay or lesbian. This will also increase the rate of hate crimes and mob justice. On 18th October 2013, I was arrested for receiving money from western union from my boy friend in Holland which was meant to cover all the funeral expenses for my late mother, Naomi.
THE SITUATION AFTER MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT PASSING THE ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY BILL ON 20TH.DEC.2013
On the 20th of December 2013, Uganda’s parliament passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, a draconian law. This bill provides life imprisonment for all those implicated in cases of “aggravated homosexuality”, to arrest those involved in the “promotion of homosexuality”, to close down all lgbti organizations, to close down all health centers giving aid to lgbti citizens. Ever since the passage of the anti-gay bill, I have lived in fear; at times I fear leaving the house.
In addition to this hostile current situation, other confirmed sources show that the ethics minister Rev.Fr.Lokodo, has a list of 200 names of lgbti activist who will be hunted down and arrested and charged, for “Promotion of Homosexuality” and I am on that list since I have been out in advocating for lgbti rights. Moreover, there have been well over ten previous arrests in the community. We live with continual tension. The arrests were unlawful; police raided homes and searched them without warrants and forced medical tests on those suspected of being homosexuals. My home of residence is in the Entebbe Road area commonly referred to as the pink village since most lgbti activists live in this place and the lgbti organization offices are located in this area. The Ethics Minister vows to start the pro-lgbti hunt there and later go to other places .
THE SITUATION AFTER THE PRESIDENT DECLARED HE WOULD SIGN THE ANTIGAY BILL, FRIDAY 14TH.FEBUARY.2014:
On the evening of Valentine’s Day, the entire Ugandan lgbti community was faced with the news of a harsh speech by president Museveni vowing to sign the antigay bill into law and pledging to “wage a war to deal with and cage” all gay activists in Uganda. He pledged to deal activists and those aiding them with an iron hand. This statement made by president Museveni has scared and intimidated many lgbti activists in Uganda and as I speak more activists are in suspense and looking for the way forward.
Many are trying to search for asylum before the harsh law is fully enacted.
I am scared, anticipating more media-outings of many lgbti top activists which will again put us back in the days of the rolling stone and mob-justice because the vast majority here are hostile to us, their lgbti fellow citizens.
So, as a result, I am seeking help to relocate to a safer state which embraces and protects lgbti persons. As a human rights volunteer I have no money for air fare and visa fees. I hope that my requests will be given consideration. One day I will return to my country but I believe I must leave. I need help. Thank you very much.
Rev.Patrick Leuben Mukajanga