By; WatchdogUganda. ——– Robert Kyagulanyi famously known as Bobi Wine has spoken about his support for homosexuals.
In an interview on BBC’s flagship program Hard Talk, Bobi Wine, the National Unity Platform presidential flag bearer, said that he supports homosexuals because they have a right to enjoy all freedoms their country offers to all its citizens. When pressed by the show host Zeinab Badawi on Friday, that he in 2014 condemned homosexuals, Bobi Wine only fell short of apologizing for his comments and beliefs of yesterdays.
“As I grow up I become more open minded”, he said reminding Badawi that his opponent President Yoweri Museveni was accusing him of being supported by foreigners and homosexuals. Kyagulanyi said, he was a changed man. “I am tolerant to other people, and believe in human rights for all,” He said. Last year, while appearing on South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC), the musician turned politician said he did not support gay people but he respected their rights.
“I believe that one has the responsibility of guarding the rights of all citizens of those who are like you and those that are not like you. I believe that as a leader, a high level of tolerance is required to make sure the nation comes together,” Bobi Wine said in response to a question about his views on gays during an interview. Quoting a French philosopher, Voltaire, Bobi Wine said he might disapprove of what the homosexuals say or do but noted he will defend their rights to say it.
“I think all people are human beings and have their rights even when you don’t agree with them,” he said. In 2014, Bobi Wine was denied a visa to visit the United Kingdom after gay rights campaigners accused him of inciting homophobic attacks in his song lyrics, according to local media reports. The singer was forced to cancel two scheduled gigs in Birmingham and London where he was due to support Ugandan drama and music group the Ebonies.
Gay rights campaigners voiced objections when Bobi Wine’s shows were announced. A change.org petition said: “Ugandan artist Bobi Wine writes songs with blatant homophobic lyrics and calls for gay people to be attacked, or killed… allowing such an artist to appear in public is clearly going to raise tensions”. The petition also questioned the use of the lyrics such as: “Burn all the batty man. All Ugandans get behind me and fight the batty man.” The UK Criminal Justice and Immigration Act of 2008 forbids inciting hatred on the ground of sexual orientation. When asked about Bobi Wine’s claims, the UK Home Office they said they were unable to comment on individual cases.
Before the visa decision was reported, Wine outlined his position on homosexuality and freedom of speech in the Daily Monitor newspaper. “I am personally not out to threaten the life of any individual based on their sexual orientation, I just do not agree with them [homosexuals]”, he said. “This is my opinion and happens to be that of 99 per cent of Ugandans”, he claimed.
“I hope that the proponents of homosexuality who pride themselves in their liberalism and support for human rights, will allow me my right of expression much as they may not be comfortable with my opinion,” he added. On several occasions, President Museveni has accused Bobi Wine of being funded by gay people to disrupt Uganda’s peace.
“Those are being used by the West to introduce despicable acts of homosexuality and cultural disruption. Also terrorist groups operating in the Great Lakes Region are using indirect methods through politicians. Don’t fall for their schemes,” Museveni warned recently.