11 February 2005

Uganda: Govt Opposes 'Vagina Monologues'

Kampala — THE Government has condemned the title of the play, "Vagina Monologues," saying it is part of an international plot to corrupt the moral fabric of Uganda and other countries.

The play that is to be staged at Ndere Cultural Centre, Ntinda next Saturday, has been shown in 40 countries.

The state minister for information, James Nsaba Buturo denied media reports that the Government had considered banning it.

"The title of the film in question is undoubtedly indecent and tasteless. The author of the film is a known lesbian who lives with another woman. She worships the female sexual organ, seeing it as her god," Buturo said during the Government's weekly press briefing yesterday.

Ministers Geraldine Namirembe Bitamazire for education and Grace Akello for northern Uganda rehabilitation also briefed the media.

Buturo said, "The Ugandan backers who support the title of the film claim that in order to shock society about the injustices that women suffer, it is appropriate to come up with a shocking title. This is to be deplored."

"Government appeals to civil society organisations not to stoop low in their search for financial support from individuals, foreign organisations and governments that have resources and an agenda that promotes values that are a threat to our country," he said.

He said regardless of its assumed objectives, the play was part of a global agenda to undermine the moral foundation of countries that cherish their moral values.

"Slowly but surely, the moral foundation of our country is being eroded and worst of all by our own people who knowingly or unknowingly act as agents or collaborators with external interests that have little interest in our society," he said.

Buturo stressed that Ugandans must not sell their souls in the name of soliciting for funds. "This is why the decision by the Church of Uganda to reject aid which was tied to their accepting to embrace homosexuality has to be commended as a great relief and a pointer of our country's resolve not to pander to other values if they are inimical to ours," he added.

On Uganda's political road map he said, "Cabinet is working round the clock to finalise discussions about the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2005. This is before it is tabled for debate."

"The Government wishes to assure the public that the transition process will be smooth and successful. It appeals to all stakeholders in the political process to exercise maximum restraint and put the country's interests before theirs," he said.

He denied media reports that President Museveni did not want to end the conflict because the UPDF feared the changes that peace would bring and that Museveni was determined never to sit down with Kony since doing so would give the latter credibility.

He also denied claims that the Government had marginalised northern Uganda and called for accuracy in reporting. He said it was the Movement Government that had offered the rebels the olive branch by the several extended truces that the LRA keep violating.

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