President Yoweri Museveni has attacked the West for 'imposing' homosexuality and leaders of their choice on Africans, saying that this is an act of intolerance and lack of respect.
Museveni said for the Africans, sexuality is treated as a private matter but now the West is imposing its own values on the continent, ignoring the fact that as Africans they have an identity and a set of values that should be respected.
"Tolerance is something I find missing in the Middle East and even in Europe and it causes a lot of problems. On every issue, somebody wants to impose his views on other people. You come to the issue of homosexuality, they want to impose it on you," said Museveni.
Museveni was on Thursday addressing the Global Peace Leadership Conference at Commonwealth Resort, Munyonyo. He said that the mishandling of identity is a big mistake saying that every body's identity should be respected.
"Africans here, we know a few people who are rumoured to be homosexuals, even in history we had some few being rumoured but you cannot stand up here and say 'am a homosexual.' People will not like it, but whenever we talk to our partners from other part of the world, and say that is a private matter, you leave it. They say no; they want to impose it on you that I should stand up and say; oyee, homosexuals oyee," said Museveni.
In attendance at the conference was the first vice president of South Sudan Taban Deng Gai, first vice president for Burundi Gaston Sindimwo, former President of Zanzibar Dr Abeid Amani Karume and others.
The conference attracted delegates from Canada, United States of America, India, Korea, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Cameroon, and South Sudan among others under the theme, "Moral and innovative leadership: new models for sustainable peace and development."
It is organized by US-based interfaith NGO, the Global Peace Foundation. Museveni noted four reasons which cause lack of peace - intolerance and lack of respect of other people's identities. The other reasons he cited are conflict between man and man, conflict between man and nature and weakness.
He said that most people do not want to want to live by honest labour but at the expense of others which deters peace to prevail.
"Some use knowledge of science to disadvantage others. Some people like to kill and these are cowards and selfish people. These are bad elements to humans," Museveni noted.
He gave an example of conflicts in Libya and Iraq as having been caused by the Americans describing them as greedy.
"The issue of scarce resources, these wars in the Middle East in Libya, in North Africa, in Iraq, they have been about oil. People are talking of Iran, Iran, Iran but the original problem was caused by Americans because in 1953 there were democratic elections in Iran and a man called [Mohammed] Mosaddegh was not an extremist, not an Islamist, he was a secularist." he said.
"He was elected but he wanted to change the laws on petroleum and the CIA organised a coup against Mosaddegh, 1953. So that is how this Shah man - the king was being pumped by the Americans, a puppet, they were looking for a puppets. They did not like Mosaddegh because Mosaddegh had different ideas about petroleum. They used this Shah but this Shah was actually annoying Iranians and this movement went underground. it became a big issue now and was taken over by the Islamic clerics and now you have what you have in Iran. But who caused it? It was the greed of the Americans."
He also said that the unending conflicts in Congo are caused by the greed of Western governments.
"We have been having the UN in Congo since 1960. The Congolese had never had elections in their lives. They had elections in 1960, they elected their leader Patrice Lumumba who won national elections but some people did not like Lumumba because they did not like his politics. So they organised for him to be killed…and Congo has never had peace since 1960 up to now. And UN is always there. So what was the original causer of problems in Congo? Those who killed Patrice Lumumba and they know themselves." said Museveni.
Museveni further advised Africans to avoid weakness saying it is another cause of conflict since it tempts greedy people to invade them. He said Africans should stop complaining of persecution by the western powers because they choose to concentrate on factors that make them weak instead of concentrating on factors that make them strong.
In his statement read out by the Tanzanian prime minister Kassim Majaliwa, President John Pombe Magufuli said that peace is an essential prerequisite for development.
He said that there cannot be peace where human rights are violated, discrimination and intolerance, injustice, marginalization, favouritism, poverty and hunger.
Kenya's cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa represented President Uhuru Kenyatta at the conference noted that political disputes should not be allowed to define national agendas.