By Dr Nsaba Buturo
Morally speaking, Uganda is under siege as never before! The siege is from a coterie of interests which include secularists, pluralists, relativists, hedonists, atheists and agnostics.
Knowingly or not, some Ugandans are becoming victims of this coterie’s selfish and one-sided campaigns. In their quest to influence Ugandans, the above coterie is forcing Ugandans to adopt a cultural order which would be socially, economically and culturally harmful to us. A culture war is going on! Ugandans who are aware of this are fighting back though. The Government’s Anti-Pornography Bill, 2011 should be viewed in this light.
The Bill is expressly about averting impending social and financial calamity that is facing Uganda as a result of pornography. In western countries, pornography is causing untold misery, which even with their advanced medical services and economies, they are finding hard to cope with. In those countries, as a result of pornography, crimes related to rape are high, child sexual abuse rates are high, family breakdown is rampant and addicts have progressed to higher levels of criminal conduct. This has led to exponential rise in financial costs to taxpayers. If such consequences of pornography are allowed to go unchecked, they portend disaster for Ugandan societies.
Despite the known harmful effects of pornography, the Anti-Pornography Bill is being opposed by individuals who don’t care or have no idea about the dangers of pornography. In their opposition, they have absurdly, mischievously and erroneously labeled the Bill, a Miniskirt Bill when in truth it has nothing to do with miniskirts! Some of them have gone further to say that the Bill is diversionary! It cannot be so when it is about mitigating effects of homosexuality, rape, defilement, prostitution, abortion and HIV/AIDS which are threatening the fabric of our societies.
Recently, something unusual thing happened. Two Government-appointed Commissions announced their opposition against the Government’s Anti-Pornography Bill, 2011! The rationale of the opposition was their claim that there are adequate laws to deal with pornography! This is not true and they know it! It is worth noting that they are heavily financially dependent on the very interests whose values systems encourage pornography. It can only be concluded that as a form of pay back, the Commissions feel obligated to defend their interests other than those of Ugandans! Their public opposition of the Government’s Bill merits disciplinary action against them.
In recent years, pornography has been wrecking havoc on Ugandans. Uganda’s medical service system and her economy are not able to cope with the social and economic effects caused by the havoc. Pornography is being disguised as news. It is being sold alongside other regular news. It is being presented as stage-managed pictures and sex education. Then there is internet pornography, locally generated pornographic pictures, video/cinema pornography, nude erotic dancing in bars (ebimansulo) and pornography on TV.
Those who argue that the social and economic disruption that is caused by pornography is not important to Ugandans are not serious! Pornography is the mother of many insidious and dangerous vices such as murder, rape and homosexuality. Its toll on the Ugandan population is increasing by the day. It violates the African culture and traditions. Most important, it breaks God’s laws! Because of this, it deserves to be treated in a special way. A specific law is necessary. If nothing specialized is done about the burgeoning pornography, what has befallen western countries where pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry will befall us with more chilling and cataclysmic consequences!
The choice facing our leaders is simple. It is to choose to protect interests of Ugandans or those of the coterie above and their multi-billion dollar industry. Our leaders should not be fazed by threats of cuts in foreign ‘aid’ which are being used as a weapon to dissuade them from siding with Ugandans. Dear Members of Parliament, majority of Ugandans are looking to you to debate and pass the Anti- Pornography Bill, 2011 without delay. Remember, the Bill is not about miniskirts!
Dr Nsaba Buturo
Executive Director, Coalition for the Advancement of Moral Values-East Africa