In October 2013, I got wind of the government passing a bill banning LGBTI people from the country or outright sanctioning their lifetime imprisoning while really encouraging the country to hunt them down and kill them. I had no idea I could even fight for social justice. You see, I had never paid attention to this at Imperial Oil Ltd. or Exxonmobil. It never affected me. This time, it was my people at home. Ohlalala
So December 2013, the bill was passed as a Xmas present to the country. For a country that commits murder and atrocities on so many, has so many hungry people, no medicine in hospitals, terrible diluted education and horrible roads, I failed to understand why they would focus on this instead of the real problems. I could not believe that they could focus on a minority group to persecute.
Then in February 2014, the law was signed by our president despite all the public outcry from outside of the country. In March, they even had a Thanks Giving Parade for the law. I will spare you the pictures and media circus. We all have the media circus, news clippings, social media attacks, their own TV channels running their celebrations and outcry to kill the gay people. They forget that the world keeps a record of everything.
I would like to thank the key donors to Uganda who cut off some aid. In May, we heard rumours that the law would be repealed. You people have no idea, the country was so burned for cash they were taxing salt, sugar, parafin (kerosene), hoes (farm tools), etc.. Something had to give. In August 2014, the law was repealed on some technicality. Those who follow me on Face Book would know. Late last year, I started blogging because I write furiously for Uganda and realised that the best way for me to even locate what I write is on the blog which is searchable via google.
In December 2014, the MPs tried to push through the same law. What my people do not understand is that our president is not stupid. When the law was repealed, the aid was released, not all of it as one tends to remain suspicious but a bit of it was released. Ugandans lost many jobs because of aid being cut off for Human Rights Violations. I write about these things a lot. I am just apolitical so I do not put the furor in it as I would love to. Toyin saw me fighting, being abused and being threatened. Hector saw it. My other non PC friends, Ricky and Allison saw it. One lady in USA called Christine Zook stood by me the entire time.
I think what a UWC education does to someone is to teach them Emotional Intelligence. How can you put yourself in the other person's shoes and then sanction their murder. We fought for nearly 8 months. (Christine Zook, Hector, Toyin, Allison Holwell, Ricky Baugh). My current husband was threatened with death as he was in Uganda working on one of our projects. Oh, the horror of it. However, if you give up, then the haters win. We had many friends whom I am not mentioning as this could be a dissertation.
Other than that, we are all well. The girls are big. Rebecca (17) got into Dalhousie in Halifax at the tender age of 16 so she joins this year at 17 into Medical Sciences (pre-med and then Med school same place). Natasha is no longer Mini (13yrs old and plays all the competitive sports you can think of for a kid, not hockey though, that is the only one we skipped).
Life in Moncton, New Brunswick is awesome. We met with Diana, Kory, Sheena, David and Lisa summer of 2014. Amazing to meet them.
I am still with Exxonmobil (remember that Exxonmobil took over all the non engineering work from Imperial Oil Ltd.). I have never changed employers since school. Yeah, boring but love it. I am however, enjoying the community work in our community here and informing and educating Uganda. There is a lot of work to do in Uganda and I am up for it.
By Martha Leah Zesaguli (Nangalama, Nangi, PC 14)
Born and Raised in Uganda (Bududa District)