6 February 2013

Uganda: Sweden Must Accept Serwadda and Kaala's Love

opinion

Ugandans Muzamil Serwadda and Lawrence Kaala are now married. They got married two Saturdays ago in a beautiful ceremony that had me reaching for the tissues just on seeing the pictures of the blushing couple.

It's not every day that I allow myself to get all soapy or jealous, but on this occasion I simply let myself go, choking on tears of joy for the happy couple.

But I digress. This is not meant to be about me.

The ins and outs of their marriage are now being thrashed out in the press, against a backdrop of threats of deportation back to Uganda for Kaala. Some mischievous writers have even suggested that the wedding was all a sham, a ploy to circumvent the long arm of Swedish immigration which was attempting to deport Kaala.

Aah!

Sweden mustn't pander to such silliness. For these two men to have made the commitment they have made, in such a blaze of publicity, can only have been prompted by a depth of feeling Sweden must not interfere with.

The thought that the lovers could be separated and one of them sent to live in America would be callous. But to Uganda? Serwadda and Kaala have crossed the Rubicon and I am afraid that is no longer an option.

Why?

I am trying to imagine the circus that would ensue at Entebbe Airport the moment it became known that one of the men who married another man in Sweden had landed.

Ayayaya!

Ugandans are not a violent people, but they can be a gossipy, tactless, insensitive, prying lot and I can't for the life of me think of where Kaala could now live or walk in peace. He would likely have a line of hecklers waiting for him outside his gate (if he has one).

I can see young children throwing at him embarrassing, prurient questions they've heard Martin Ssempa ask in church or on his radio talk show. I can hear the jeers from idle, unemployed bystanders as he waits for his groceries to be bagged at the local market. I can hear the sniggering as he waits in line at the upscale Standard Chartered Bank on Speke Road.

It wouldn't necessarily be physical violence but it would be death by a thousand cuts - far more psychologically and emotionally debilitating. A blow to the head or a knife to the jugular would be preferable.

No, Kaala can now have no life to speak of in Uganda, and Sweden cannot deport him, whatever their assessment about the two men's wedding is. Frankly, it beggars belief that anyone could think Serwadda and Kaala would go through the process they did merely to create headlines in Uganda and elsewhere.

Sweden is a big enough country to have a place for both Serwadda and Kaala. They should be left in peace to work on their marriage, love and happiness - as married Swedish citizens.

What God has united, Sweden cannot, must not, rent asunder.

Now, where is my box of tissues? I have just been sent a picture of Lawrence and Muzamil sharing a kiss after they said 'I do'.

This post was originally published on the author's blog.

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