Renown Pastor and anti-gay activist, Martin Ssempa has said that American online social media and social networking service company, Facebook shut down his accounts for taking the central role in coordinating efforts to fight homosexuality in Uganda.
Ssempa, who was just recently appointed on the new committee instituted by Parliament to regulate porn consumption in the country, says he is back even though efforts have been made in the last few years so that his life is “difficult and extremely miserable.”
In an exclusive interview with media, the 50-year-old reveals he is set to launch a new book titled ‘Africa’s Resistance To Homosexuality.’
Where have you been?
I was away for a sabbatical. I was writing books. I took of time to write our story and my story, which includes my twenty years of work at Makerere University in terms of AIDS prevention and transforming lives of young people. The work of championing the family – both in Uganda and Africa at large – and the resistance we have had as a people against the importation of foreign cultures, including the ‘Homosexual Agenda’.
Reports surfaced that you were indicted in the ICC?
I have seen in the news that there was a case related to me due to persecution. There’s been many of us who have been persecuted for standing up for the natural family. It is extremely difficult. People try to make all sorts of allegations against you. There was a case at the ICC of crimes against humanity, that people like us; me, Father Lokodo, Minister David Bahati, because we have stood up against the homosexuality agenda, that we are guilty of crimes against humanity. Absolute fabrications. Thankfully, the ICC never took place, then there was one in America that was dismissed not long ago. It was not against me directly, it was against someone else who was a pro-family leader in the US, but they mentioned us in that case.
What exactly is the ‘sabbatical’ about?
I have been reflecting on Africa’s resistance against homosexuality, and this Journey is not just now, it started off in 2003 were donors demand gay rights and Parliament had a debate. It has been an ongoing struggle, but we are seeing that God has been fighting on our behalf. The times of Barack Obama were extremely difficult for Africa because he was an American President who made it his personal agenda to make the issue of Homosexuality a number one agenda.
Unfortunately this was at a cost of us fighting other issues like HIV/AIDs, poverty, education. It was a misfortune. So, I have taken time to do a book, and I am looking forward to launching it about 6 weeks from now. Its ‘Africa’s Resistance To Homosexuality.’
Rumor has it that you were intimidated, that why you went silent?
These are figmations of people’s imaginations. They have all been debunked. No, we are not Afraid, we will continue to stand. When you stand for truth, you stand for truth but the price is quite high. Its costly, they make your life very difficult and miserable. We must be aware that lairs will always be there. People are trying to intimidate and bully us, but God is looking for men and women of courage. I thank God for the prayers of people who are standing with me, and other Africans who have not bowed down to the idol.
Do you consider your time off the public scene beneficial to the struggle?
We live incredibly busy lives and we do not take off time to study our history, and we do not have it documented too. When you look at the Homosexual movement in Uganda and Africa, it is not just here. The same struggle is taking place in Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal. It has been very beneficial for me to sit down and read the movement, and the rise of the resistance from the theological perspective. You remember the Lambeth conference – there was a fight between the European side and African side of the Anglican Church. Even in the Catholic Church, between the liberal side that has come in with a new Pope and the others that had the past Popes. There are changes and struggles there. We are seeing in the international world, NGOs that have decided; we want to bring gay rights as a main issue, and those that are saying we do not want that.
So, for me it was a very beneficial time. The bible says, what the enemy meant for evil God turned around for good. It was good to sit down and study. And I think my people are going to be happy to read, to know that we come from a very rich history.
We are not the alleged gay killers that we are, but we are dignified, honorable, modest men and women who are trying to protect our families and Children. And we are doing this with honor and dignity. Homosexuals in America and the Facebook people shut down my Facebook account. As we are back, we do recognize that yeah, its time to continue speaking. Moses was 40 years in the desert, then he came back. Jesus was dead for 3 days, and he came back. You can see that the followers had scattered, but he came back. It is not so much the struggles that we go through, but they test us to be the metal – are we men, women of courage?
Now that you are back, what are some of the key issues you are starting with?
I think, what I see within us is that there is need for people to articulate who we are. We need to make our selves visible. It is not a crime to say I am straight. We must pay attention to our children and mentor them. Silence will not help us. We must be able to speak clearly and loudly. One of the reasons people don’t want to come to Uganda is because we have been receiving such bad publicity. They have said we are gay killers and because people want Visa’s at the embassy, they go and tell officials that; oh they are killing me.
Unfortunately, western embassies are receiving these messages. It is a form of human trafficking. There are movies being made about Uganda that say this country is the worst place to be a homosexual. Unfortunately that is not true. There are night clubs of homosexuals in here. There are many homosexuals enjoying the benevolence of the Europeans. So, we must say that is not who we are. This is affecting our tourism, trade, Ugandan students who are studying overseas.
When people fail to convince us on the advantages and disadvantages of doing homosexuality, then they rely it on money and black mail, using banks, aid or donations. So you find that people are divided. There are those willing to take the money and quietly accept the homosexual agenda, and there are those who have said; we will not take your money. We see this in all churches, whether its Born again, Anglican or Catholic, we see that people’s hearts are being shaken by the temptation.
By Paul W Dennis.