Corrupt leaders can’t cast first stone
I will start this column today on a preachy note. Many African Christians, I assume, must be familiar with the story of the woman who was brought to Jesus for punishment for adultery. The law then demanded that the woman be stoned to death. However, in John 8.7, Jesus replied to the Pharisees who brought her and said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
African leaders who are against the legalisation of homosexuality on the continent are behaving like the Pharisees in the Bible’s Book of John 8.7. They are pointing a finger at homosexuals when they have cupboards full of skeletons themselves.
There is nothing that shows in clearer terms how African leaders are morally depraved than the corrupt acts they engage in. This is a problem that affects all four corners of Africa. It has stagnated the continent more than any other sinful act bar war. It’s impact is seen in the high number of Africans still living below the poverty line.
Corruption has left most key institutions in Africa such as health, education, trade and investment in total disrepair as funds continue to be embezzled by the leaders. Consequently, millions of Africans continue to die from preventable diseases and children of ordinary folks still struggle to gain quality education.
Uganda’s president has gone even further and decreed that homosexuals would be facing a death penalty. That is rich, coming from a president who has clung to power for more than 30 years and stifled democracy, which would have given rise to shared prosperity and ended corruption and nepotism that continues to put Uganda on its knees. Like many African countries, Uganda has been slow at ending corruption. As a result, many Ugandan institutions that were set up to help the citizens are in dire straits due to stolen funds.
Homosexuality is quite difficult for heterosexuals and religious puritans to understand perhaps.
Is it a sexual preference, a depraved act, hormonal or all three? However, one thing I know is that homosexuality, despite the fact that many African leaders believe it to be a Western agenda to destroy conservative African cultures, is far from that.
It’s impact may be more personal than that of corruption, which affects all facets of the lives of the African people.
Homosexuals would lean towards a relationship with the same sex and the consequences of that are suffered at a personal level, unlike corruption.
Paradise on earth
African puritans and religious fanatics who are up in arms against homosexuality see no contradiction when they go to bed with African leaders. They are not as vocal against or distanced from corruption themselves. If they were, Africa would be one hell of a paradise on earth.
As the UDA government plans to challenge the right of association given to the LGBTQ+ community in court, I am left wondering whether it has any constitution to take the high moral ground given the number of illegalities it has been involved in since it came to power. One of those is the reversal of nearly all corruption cases.
The other one is embracing people of questionable values.
There is nothing more immoral and corrupt than spending taxpayers’ money to pay those appointed to illegal positions and establishing and paying for positions in government that are not constitutionally recognised.
Kenyan MPs who are spitting feathers on the rights given to LGBTQ+ communities to associate clearly do not know or understand the laws they made themselves. The right of association given to the LGBTQ+ people is constitutional and MPs who are bashing it are behaving corruptly and with impunity. The Supreme Court could only make decisions based on what rights are provided for in law. If MPs do not like any aspect of law that gives rights to the LGBTQ+ community, then the right thing to do is go back to Parliament and repeal them but not incite people against them.
I could not care less what people do in private or the lifestyle they choose, as long as they do not harm anyone else. However, I take issue with the hypocrisy in Africa, where it is fine to be corrupt and destroy millions of lives but illegal to follow your sexual preference even if it is only you that is affected. It is in fact blasphemous for religious communities to pass judgement when it is God’s call to pass judgement. Being religious does not give one the right to play God.
Therefore, before African leaders distract their people with LGBTQ+ issues, they need to look within themselves first and ask whether their hands are clean. They cannot partake in corruption, kill and maim the opposition, destroy lives through lack of proper services but think they have the moral authority to attack LGBT+.
Let whosoever lives in a glass house not throw stones. Let African leaders remove the logs from their eyes first before they condemn LGBTQ+ communities, whose only crime is to choose a lifestyle that is different from that of the rest of us.
Ms Guyo is a legal researcher. [email protected] @kdiguyo