Heroes’ Day Call To Action!

Uganda’s history is filled with countless heroes who fought for freedom, justice, and equality. From the struggles against colonialism to the fight for independence, these heroes have left an indelible mark on the nation’s collective memory. Their legacy serves as a reminder of the values that Uganda holds dear: unity, resilience, and the pursuit of a just society.

While we commemorate the achievements of our heroes, it is essential to recognize that true progress can only be achieved when every citizen is included and afforded equal rights. Upholding the principles of inclusivity, Uganda must embrace its diverse population, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Uganda is infamous for her punitive attitude towards LGBT+ rights and acceptance the most recent act being the enaction of a law that criminalizes not just consensual same sex relations but has quite a number of clauses that go as far as criminalizing this article as promotion.

As we gather as a nation to celebrate the heroes that fought to bring ‘freedom’ it is important to ponder on what that means for Ugandans. If I as a landlord, among the things I have to do is turn into a tenant watcher lest I am imprisoned for 8 years for failure to report my tenants as homosexuals, am I then enjoying a free state? If as a journalist as I write this article, my hands shake above my keyboard because press freedom has been rendered a myth, am I then enjoying freedom? Millions of Ugandans actually belong to the LGBT+ community, what is there for them to celebrate of this heroes’ day when every day we are woken by gruesome pictures of people beaten or worse murdered!

According to the speeches and statements regarding this day from the state, the fight was for unity, justice and equality for all citizens of Uganda. The irony is we then went to pass a law that jeopardizes the same for all Ugandans. Organizations that have been supporting the LGBT+ community of Uganda have come out to officially announce a pause on their work due to draconian law. Read statement from Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum here It should be noted that human rights violations towards the LGBT+ community in Uganda have gone up averaging 3 reported cases daily.

As you go out to whether commemorate or celebrate this day, remember that there is a section of Ugandans direly looking for heroes to stand up and fight against this legislative sponsored genocide!