By HOMELAND MEDIA NEWSROOM
As Ugandans were still coming to terms with the death of Bank of Uganda Governor Prof Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, another sad news of the passing on of Father Simon Lokodo came in. Father Lokodo, the departed former minister of Ethics and Integrity was loved and hated in equal measure as he went about his duties of having citizens, regardless of class, possess some form of morals and decency in their daily lives.
Father Lokodo was loved by moralists, religious leaders and others while on the other hand, the man from Karamoja sub region was hated by atheists, prostitutes, the corrupt and liberalists who included Uganda’s men and women of the so-called free world.
Those who loved Lokodo’s work believed that Uganda, a country whose motto is, “For God and My Country’, must have citizens that fear God and therefore possess good morals and decency, though the definitions of good morals and decency are matters of debate.
On the other hand, those who hated Lokodo believed that the then minister was encroaching on their freedoms and rights as enshrined in the national constitution and other international instruments like the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human Rights.
The late minister became the talk of the town when his office introduced the Anti-pornography law (which some Ugandans jokingly referred to as mini-skirt law) for it tried to ban the wearing of miniskirts in public. Liberalists saw this law as infringing on the rights of women, who wanted to show some flesh of their bodies, especially the thighs thought to be attractive to men.
Lokodo believed that women who showed their thighs were an obstruction to men to concentrate, even though women argued that their bodies had nothing to do with obstructing men from going on with their activities.
In the law, Lokodo strictly wanted women to show off their nude bodies in the bedrooms, maybe to their husbands and boyfriends for purposes of sexual arousal. Tom nudity was a private affair that had no purpose in the public sphere.
Using the same law, Lokodo was able to apprehend some people including artists Desire Luzinda, whose enraged boyfriend circulated their sex nudes on social media, causing excitement among porn lovers whilst attracting condemnation from moralists and religious leaders.
Lokodo also helped in the formulation of the marriage and domestic relations bill that aimed at, according to its makers, having stable families. Unfortunately, this bill remains in parliament gathering dust as it was never ascended to by President Yoweri Museveni, who said the intended law would instead cause family instabilities especially when the issue of sharing property was factored in.
Muslims on the other hand opposed Lokodo and his group on the domestic relations bill, arguing that their marriage is based on the Koran and Sharia Law and that as such it needs no government interference. It is one of the reasons why Museveni could not ascend to the bill that failed to harmonise religious marriage.
Lokodo let down
Despite Lokodo’s efforts to have a country where citizens were morally upright, the good minister was let down by both politicians and senior public officials, who exchanged bitterly in public, corruption reports skyrocketed, yet sexual scandals kept coming out of religious institutions, as government ministers and MPs were not spared either of sex escapades outside marriage. These hurt Lokodo so much.
The most that caused debate on morals in Uganda was the revelation of a sexual affair between the retired Church of Uganda Archibiahop Stanley Ntagali and a wife of one of his flock.
Pastor Aloysius Bujingo’s sex life continues to dominate the morality debates in the country, having broken away from his officially wedded wife Teddy. He has gotten a new partner in the name of Susan Makula. The two new love birds are fighting a case of bigamy in court.
In conclusion, this writer can say the late Lokodo was a good man who tried to have morals established in a complicated system, where even religions leaders who many Ugandans look up to, have failed the morality test. May His Soul Rest In Peace.