Uganda: Panic As 40 MPs Get Pro-Gay Magazines in Mail Boxes
On Wednesday 14th June 2017, Kuchu Times Media Group officially released Bombastic Magazine into the public domain. The magazine which was distributed in Kampala on the same day had earlier undergone a dispersion phase in the upcountry areas of Uganda in late May.
The volunteer teams that doled out the magazine targeted local stakeholders and foreign missions. Among the key stakeholders targeted were parliamentarians, civil society organisations, health centers, feminist organisations as well as media houses.
“We strongly believe that if we are to start open and objective conversations with various key players in health, legal, education, and civil spaces, we will have opened the door to the future. Our policy makers are misinformed about LGBTI persons and all things concerning sexual and gender minorities and how best to change this than provide first hand information from the very people that they are misinformed about,. Bombastic magazine carries various articles that encompass different issues including lived realities shared by LGBTI persons- these we believe will shed light on what it truly means to be a minority as well as debunk so many of the myths that surround us a s a people,” Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, founder and Executive Director of Kuchu Times Media Group said of why it is important to bring policy makers and influencers to the discussion table.
While the distribution of the magazine went as anticipated on the most part, the reaction from Parliament has taken the entire LGBT community aback. According to The Observer, officials from the Department of the Sergeant At Arms at parliament learnt of the magazine drops after one recipient reported the matter to the receptionists and immediately swung into action and retrieved the material.
This is the very government that sits down with gender and sexual minorities and agrees to listen to their side of the story. How are they supposed to get the right information if they deliberately shun such information- information that is handed to them free of charge? How are sexual and gender minority health needs supposed to be incorporated into the wider health policies if they continue to sit down and make promises but then turn around, in the same breath, and castigate our publications?
The Observer further intimated that a reliable source had revealed that the copies were taken to the office of Paul Wabwire, the deputy Clerk Parliamentary Affairs, who scrutinised the magazines but found that they are inappropriate. They also wrote, in the online article that Chris Obore, the director of Communications and Public Affairs (CPA), told them that “Trying to smuggle illegal materials into Parliament is a gross act of provocation. Fortunately, security at Parliament was very robust and we realized this early.”