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CONFIDENTIAL (97070)
CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN (4678)
SECRET (11322)
SECRET//NOFORN (4330)
UNCLASSIFIED (75792)
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY (58095)
Reference ID 09KAMPALA1381 (original text)
SubjectUGANDA: DONORS NOT AMUSED AS ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY
OriginEmbassy Kampala
ClassificationCONFIDENTIAL
ReleasedAug 30, 2011 01:44
CreatedDec 8, 2009 12:32
VZCZCXRO0407
RR RUEHRN RUEHROV
DE RUEHKM #1381/01 3421232
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 081232Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2008
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 0022
RUEHROV/AMEMBASSY VATICAN
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0150
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KAMPALA 001381 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR S/GAC 
DEPT FOR DRL 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/08/2019 
TAGS:            
SUBJECT: UGANDA: DONORS NOT AMUSED AS ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY 
TRUMPS ANTI-CORRUPTION 
 
REF: A. KAMPALA 01309 
      B. KAMPALA 00985 
      C. KAMPALA 00523 
      D. KAMPALA 01096 
 
KAMPALA 00001381  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
Classified By: Pol/Econ Chief Aaron Sampson for 
reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
 1. (C) Summary: During a December 1 meeting with U.S. 
EmbOffs, UN Special Envoy on AIDS in Africa Elizabeth Mataka 
criticized Ugandan leaders for trying to criminalize 
homosexuality instead of curbing rampant health sector 
corruption.  Mataka traveled to Kampala to raise concerns 
about Uganda's draft anti-homosexuality bill (ref. A). 
Meanwhile, Sweden signaled it could cut $50 million in 
HIV/AIDS assistance if the anti-homosexuality bill passes, 
and joined with the European Union in calling on Uganda to 
prosecute corrupt government officials.  In response, Ethics 
Minister Nsaba Buturo, who oversees Uganda's anti-corruption 
organs, castigated foreign diplomats for publicly criticizing 
Uganda, and said donors opposed to the anti-homosexuality 
bill are free to withdraw funding.  We do not believe 
President Museveni shares Buturo's dismissal of donor aid, 
and remain cognizant of local warnings that public 
condemnation by foreign donors is further emboldening the 
bill's proponents.  End Summary. 
 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
Anti-Homosexuality Proponents Frustrate UN Envoy 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
 2. (SBU) Special Envoy Mataka came to Uganda to register UN 
concerns about the draft anti-homosexuality bill and pending 
HIV/AIDS legislation that would criminalize the transmission 
of HIV.  In a public statement at the end of her three-day 
visit, Mataka urged Uganda not to criminalize HIV 
transmission, to avoid further stigmatization of at-risk 
groups, and to ensure its response to HIV "is based on 
evidence, not ideology." 
 
 3. (C) During a meeting with PolOff, PEPFAR Coordinator, and 
CDC Country Director, Mataka linked dire shortages in 
antiretroviral drugs and the general mismanagement of 
Uganda's health sector to pervasive corruption.  Major health 
sector corruption scandals involve the Uganda AIDS Commission 
(ref. B), the Global Fund (ref. C), the Global Alliance for 
Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) program (ref. D), and recent 
revelations of more than 100 fully stocked and staffed 
"ghost" health centers.  Mataka lamented that the 
anti-homosexuality bill is diverting attention away from the 
core issue. 
 
 4. (C) In addition to meeting with Ugandan civil society 
leaders opposed to the bill, Mataka met with outspoken 
anti-homosexual activist Pastor Martin Ssempa and the bill's 
author David Bahati.  Mataka and her delegation described 
Ssempa's inability to differentiate between pedophilia and 
sex between consenting adults as "shocking".  They reported 
Ssempa is convinced that individuals recruited by western 
homosexuals are preying on Ugandan children and that current 
laws covering rape, incest, and sexual abuse are 
insufficient.  Ssempa maintained that adults cannot "consent" 
to homosexual relationships, and informed Mataka that both he 
and his wife are American citizens.  Later in the day, Ssempa 
publicly urged President Museveni to support the 
anti-homosexuality bill, accused the U.K., the U.S., and 
France of intimidating Uganda with threats to cancel donor 
assistance, and said international donors have done nothing 
to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS. 
 
 5. (C) Mataka said the bill's sponsor, MP David Bahati, 
appeared amenable to softening some of the most offensive 
aspects of the legislation.  However, she questioned whether 
Bahati is the main force behind the bill.  Ethics Minister 
Nsaba Buturo, who is actively promoting the bill, canceled 
his meeting with Mataka, leaving Presidency Minister Beatrice 
Wabudeya as the senior-most Ugandan official on the Special 
Envoy's agenda.  At the end of her meeting with the U.S. 
Mission, Mataka expressed doubts that she delivered her 
message on anti-homosexuality and HIV/AIDS to the right 
Ugandan leaders. 
 
KAMPALA 00001381  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
 
-------------------------------- 
Sweden Threatens to Withdraw Aid 
-------------------------------- 
 
 6. (SBU) Local press has reported remarks by Swedish 
Development Minister Gunilla Carlsson indicating that Sweden 
will cut $50 million in aid to Uganda's health sector if the 
anti-homosexuality bill becomes law.  On December 3, a 
Swedish diplomat told PolOff that Sweden will likely sever 
its assistance, stating that the bill would undercut Sweden's 
HIV/AIDS prevention strategy for Uganda.  The diplomat said 
the anti-homosexuality legislation constitutes a tipping 
point as Sweden is increasingly concerned about Uganda's 
apparent unwillingness to seriously address health sector 
corruption. 
 
------------------------------------------- 
Minister Buturo's Standards of Civilization 
------------------------------------------- 
 
 7. (U) On December 2, the European Union and Swedish 
Ambassadors publicly urged Uganda to prosecute government 
officials accused of corruption (septel).  Ethics and 
Integrity Minister Nsaba Buturo responded by castigating 
Sweden, the EU, and other international donors who have 
criticized the anti-homosexuality bill and the absence of 
serious anti-corruption efforts.  "The standard practice the 
world over," said Buturo during a December 3 press 
conference, "is for such views to be communicated to 
government through well known diplomatic channels.  It is 
never, ever, standard practice in the civilized world for a 
diplomat to address the press of the country in which he or 
she is serving on how the host country is handling affairs of 
its land." 
 
 8. (U) Responding to allegations that the Ugandan government 
is "offering lip-service as far as corruption is concerned," 
Buturo said such comments come from "individuals who either 
know the truth but choose not to say it or are unaware of 
what is going on."  Buturo accused foreign diplomats of 
failing to understand the "complexities of corruption," and 
said it is unrealistic to expect the Ugandan government to 
single-handedly address "matters to do with morality." 
Buturo said Ugandans should remind donors "that there is 
integrity to be defended and that threats are not the way to 
go.  If one chooses to withdraw their aid, they are free 
because Ugandans do not want to engage in anal sex.  We do 
not care." 
 
------------------------------- 
Comment: The Misguided Minister 
------------------------------- 
 
 9. (C) Buturo's homosexuality obsession is rapidly 
undermining any credibility his office might have to oversee 
Uganda's anti-corruption institutions.  Local contacts 
continue to warn that international condemnation of the 
anti-homosexuality legislation - and threats to withdraw 
donor aid if the bill is passed - will further embolden the 
legislation's supporters by fueling accusations of western 
cultural imperialism.  We do not believe President Museveni 
shares Minister Buturo's dismissal of donor aid, given that 
foreign assistance accounts for more than 30% of Uganda's 
budget and nearly the entirety of Uganda's HIV/AIDS response. 
 The bill's proponents clearly overlooked the impact of the 
legislation on Uganda's efforts to combat HIV/AIDS.  In 
private discussions with Ugandan officials, we continue to 
stress the bill's offensive human rights aspects and the 
negative impact this legislation will have on HIV/AIDS 
prevention. 
LANIER
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