Uganda’s Sovereignty vs. Henry Bellingham’s Embedded Archaic British Imperialism

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Earlier this week, an unpalatable video made its way through Uganda’s media sphere, depicting a decaying fellow in the UK’s House of Lords, known as Henry Bellingham, babbling about regime change in Uganda. In the video, he is quoted saying, “My Lords, will the Minister not agree that one thing that could make a really big difference to this appalling situation (Uganda’s anti-homosexuality stance) would be a change in regime and free and fair elections?”

The penguin lookalike proceeded to sit down and scoff as Richard Benyon articulated the United Kingdom’s commitment to collaborate with any Ugandan government, recognising Uganda’s significance as an important ally and member state within the Commonwealth.

From the horrific death of Patrice Lumumba to the untimely one of Muammar Gaddafi, a certain pattern has been observed by insightful Africans. This pattern continues to be validated by the rhetoric of characters like Mr. Bellingham. Rhetoric that pushes for a single perspective to be adopted by the world. I find it interesting that a nation that so vehemently opposed, and now verbally opposes, the works of Hitler is in fact one of his most effective followers. Even more interesting is that a nation encouraging diversity desires all parties on Earth to share the same opinions, as if skin colour and gender are the merits of a man and not his heart and mind. I would like to inform those insightful Africans mentioned earlier that this pattern is not specific to Africa but has been and is being suffered by nations worldwide, including the West itself. A classic western example of this being the vitriolic prosecution of former President Donald Trump for tax evasion, despite the existence of more serious allegations against the current POTUS, such as the documented molestation of his own daughter. It is shocking that, amid such depravity, Joe Biden maintains the rectitude to point fingers at Africans for refusing to accept a self-destructive, unbiblical way of life. The reader may wonder what this has to do with our zombie-penguin friend. I simply write this to emphasise that Africa has experienced her fair share of imperialism, and Lord Bellingham may have just provided the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Ironically, one could portray his likeness to both a straw and a camel, but that would deviate from the point. Said point being the sheer hypocrisy in the desire for LGBT rights in Sub-Saharan Africa and the disingenuity that has been displayed to achieve said desires. An obvious example of this hypocrisy can be observed in the UK’s relations with some of the nations practicing Sharia law. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia both outlaw homosexuality, with the latter making it punishable by death. The reader may be inquisitive about how the British Parliament proposed to make a “really big difference to this appalling situation.” Perhaps they suggested the overthrow of some Arab princes? Of course, they didn’t. Instead, the UAE and Saudi Arabia act as the 19th and 24th largest trading partners of the UK, respectively. This reality leads any free mind to question the integrity of the imperialists’ intentions in Uganda. What makes gays in Sub-Saharan Africa more valuable than those in the Middle East? Is oil more valuable to Lord Bellingham than LGBT-identifying individuals? Why is it that gays are only advocated for by the West in countries with less bargaining power?

In the face of this tyranny, Africa must unite to protect her values and customs. Should they be incorrect, we must preserve the right to reach that conclusion by ourselves. There are some against the current Ugandan presidency who see the folly spewed from Bellingham’s mouth as an opportune moment for their favourite singer, Bobi Wine. What type of African are you? How can you let this soulless character determine your morals and values? This character that made a living out of the exploitation of minerals in African nations like Mozambique. Is there any difference between such an African and the tribal chiefs who sold their brothers into slavery for some shiny objects?

There may be some who would argue for Bellingham’s sincere interest in human rights, believing that his intentions behind the erosion of morality in Sub-Saharan Africa are purely based on the love of human life. Ignoring the inconsistencies stated prior in regards to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, I would ask all such inquisitors why the British Parliament is so obsessed with the lives of gay rapists in Uganda and not the innocent in their own, who experienced over 50,000 cases of knife crime in 2023, a number that is increasing in rate this year. Is this not an appalling situation? Or is it only appalling when a rapist is killed?

Lord Bellingham should host a seminar where he articulates his standard for the value of human lives. Based on anecdotal evidence, it would appear that he values the lives of homosexual sex offenders over the lives of the citizens he has been employed to protect. It is bewildering to me that there are any intelligent life forms that could support a scoundrel of such magnitude. Though Africa has been known to fight over useless distinctions, be it skin colour or language, we must unite when faced with the neocolonialism presented by our penguin friend.

It is stated in the Uganda Independence Act 1962 that “No law and no provision of any law made on or after the appointed day (independence) by any such legislature shall be void or inoperative on the ground that it is repugnant to the law of England or to the provisions of any Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.” We are autonomous; we decide what is right for us and what is not.

I plead with all Ugandans to set aside any resentment and unite like Ethiopia did in 1896. God did not create any human being above the other, and we are to govern our land as we see best fit. I await with pleasure the moment that Bellingham realises he will only find what he is looking for in Africa the day he is able to locate the teeth in his mouth. It is upon Africans, by the grace of God, to curate this reality.

                                             By Azrael Murwani

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