Ethics and Integrity Minister, Simon Lokodo, has blocked an HIV/Aids conference, saying it was organized to promote “homosexuality and other dirty things.”
In an interview with the Daily Monitor on Wednesday, Fr Lokodo said the conference organized by the Uganda Aids Commission in partnership with the Most-At-Risk Population Network Limited (MNL), was slated to take between May 9 and 10 at undisclosed venue in Kampala.
He said the questionable gathering dubbed: “First Annual Conference on Key and Priority Populations,” was being disguised as an HIV prevention event yet it’s meant to promote uncultured behaviours like homosexuality.
“My duty is to stop anything that will position the moral fabric of Ugandans. I realized that there was something dirty when I saw leaders of the conference like Nicholas Opiyo of an organization known as chapter 4 and Frank Mugisha of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG),” Mr Lokodo said, adding that the two are people of high declared position in support of homosexuality.
According to the concept note of the conference seen by this reporter, the target audience of the conference included; sex workers, transgender people, fishing folks, drug addicts, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.
Fr Lokodo said that the director general of the Uganda Aids Commission, Dr Nelson Musoba had also distanced himself from the conference.
“It is not UAC which was organizing the conference. The organizers were hiding behind the good image of the commission because Dr Nelson was also in shock when I contacted him,” he added.
However, when contacted, Dr Musoba, gave contradicting remarks, saying that the Aids Commission had just postponed the conference to widen its scope.
“I am the one who has written postponing the conference because we want to increase its scope and make it better. It is only focusing on prevention but we want to include bio-medical interventions like elimination-of-mother to child transmission (emtct),” Dr Musoba said.
Dr Musoba said that Fr Lokodo had contacted him raising a complaint about the Most-at-Risk populations, who are the major drivers of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
“The minister had information on a list of organizations not among those we were are working with. I will meet him again to help him understand the purpose of the workshop,” he said.