There is a popular saying lately that goes, “Give people their flowers while they can still smell them!” This refers to the practice of beautiful eulogies for the dead while no kind words were given when they were alive or even literally refers to all the flowers showered on graves in lives of people who did not receive even a leaf as they lived.
On Monday 7th February, the country held mass for the Late Fr. Simon Lokodo who served as the Minister of state for ethics and integrity since 2011, member of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, age limit removal supporter, mini skirt hater and champion homophobe. Of course the last three adjectives were silent in the obituary published by the government but the whole country knew.
Lokodo passed away on 29th January in Geneva a few days after Uganda’s UPR review in the same city; the weight of all the lies at the UPR and the insistence of ally countries for Uganda to stop discriminating against sexual and gender minorities must have crushed his homophobic heart. There were no flowers from the mouths of the women he sentenced to rape because rapists were iron to him and miniskirts magnets, nor were there flowers from the mouths of consenting adults who chose to engage in consensual pornography and especially no flowers from the Ugandan LGBTI+ community whose discrimination he wrote on his daily to do list.
The plastic flowers however that came from everyone at the mass should not have been shocking as we had just lied to the whole world at the UPR but even Lokodo himself must have wondered in the coffin whom they were burying. The representative from the Human Rights Commission called him a strong fighter in the human rights fight who could not stand any injustice be done to any life. Lokodo was described as a hater of injustice and ensured that torturers were brought to book. At this point anyone that really knew Lokodo was sure they were at the wrong funeral. Speaker after speaker, the late was described as a beacon of hope for marginalized groups as he left no stone unturned in the fight for Human rights. Fr. Simon Lokodo was openly homophobic and used his office to discriminate against an already discriminated population, his actions especially during his justification for the mini skirt bill and the sexual offenses bill demonstrated discrimination against women when he dared to blame women for their being raped.
Father Simon Lokodo will be buried this Sunday in his ancestral home in Karenga district and then the heavenly trial on who he was representing with the homophobia begins!