Mbeki on Uganda AHB & Africa’s selfish political classes

Former South African President,Thabo Mbeki has criticised the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill [AHB] in Kampala. Mbeki was speaking in response to a question by academic activist, Sylvia Tamale on what he would say to “Mr Bahati about the plight of a lesbian woman seeking recognition of her divergent sexual orientation”. Thank goodness there are still pockets of sanity amongst African leaders even if they are ex-leaders.

“I would say to the MP; sexual preferences are a private matter,” said Mr Mbeki. “I don’t think it is a matter of the state to intervene.” Mr Mbeki said he was certain that Mr Bahati would disagree with his stand and argue that African culture does not permit same sex relations, a reason at the heart of the continent’s wide spread antipathy towards homosexuals.

Mr Mbeki said apartheid South Africa prohibited sexual relations “across the colour line” aided by The Immorality Act which handed the police legal ground to raid “people’s bedrooms” before dragging them to court for prosecution.

“I mean what would you want? It doesn’t make sense at all. That is what I would say to the MP. What two consenting adults do is really not the matter of law,” he said. Mr Mbeki also responded to a series of questions about the failure of Africa’s present day intellectuals to cultivate ideas for progressive movement of change on the continent and the weakness of the African Union in defending and promoting the interests of Africans.” He said a weak and selfish political class, responsible for collaborating with Western imperialists to lead external intervention for selfish end on the continent, had played a leading role in clamping down progressive intellectuals since viewed as opposition to their hold on power.

The real danger lies in the merging of religion with politics which seems to be a growing trend. Nation building as a religious project, even one which speaks out against a kleptocratic pseudo military government, is a haunting scenario!