Bravo As Two Texas Hotels Deny Accommodation For Gen. Museveni Uganda's Corrupt Anti-Gay Dictator -- It's New York City's Turn

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Gen. Museveni, the Ugandan dictator shown at The Waldorf with former U.S. Secretary of State Clinton during an earlier visit

Even as United States administrations have accommodated brutal and corrupt African dictators in the past private individuals and independent media are now making it known that enough is enough.

Take the case of Uganda's dictator for the past 28 years, Gen. Yoweri K. Museveni.

It's been a rough couple of days for the Ugandan general: two Texas hotels denied him and his entourage accommodation due to his virulent anti-Gay stance when a news website focusing on LGBT issues disclosed his trip in a September 17 website posting.

A convention center in Irving, Texas, where he was to have addressed the Ugandan community and business leaders and potential investors also cancelled on Gen. Museveni.

The event, occurring today, was ultimately moved to a private location in Allen, Texas, after last minute scrambling by Museveni's aides, according to the DallasVoice, which originally disclosed news of his visit and subsequent difficulties securing accommodation.

Museveni will then head to New York City this coming week where he joins other world presidents to address the United Nations General Assembly at its annual gathering.

It's unclear where Gen. Museveni will stay while in New York. In a brief phone conversation with The Black Star News, Matt Zolbe, a spokesperson for The Waldorf Astoria, said the luxury hotel has a policy barring any discussion about the stay of specific African leaders.

Zolbe also later didn't respond to questions submitted via e-mail message after he was notified that two hotels in Irving, Texas, had denied Gen. Museveni accommodation, with one, The Four Seasons, actually canceling his reservation. During his past visits to New York for the UN General Assembly, Gen. Museveni has stayed at the Waldorf Astoria.

This year, Gen. Museveni addresses the UN at a time when his foreign minister Sam Kutesa  -- whose corruption is "egregious", according to Jerry Lanier former U.S. ambassador to Uganda --  has taken the helm as President of the U.N. General Assembly.

Kutesa is already involved in new controversy as the United Nations, possibly fearful of embarrasment and to protect officials, has attempted to cover up possible wrongful and fraudulent billings to the tune of at least $30 million by his private company, Entebbe Handling Services (ENHAS), to the UN.

Even with all the evidence linking Kutesa to corruption, he became President of the General Assembly in June -- an online petition opposing his candidacy, which is still active, has garnered 15,559 signatures.

Gen. Museveni's housing ordeal started when the DallasVoice posted an item about his scheduled visit to Irving, Texas for the weekend of September 20 - 21 and announced that "several members of the Ugandan community are calling on the LGBT community for help in protesting his appearance here."

The website mentioned Gen. Museveni's signing in February 2014 of the anti-LGBT law which calls for life in prison for members of Uganda's LGBT community; an original version of the bill in Uganda's Parliament had called for death by execution. Although Uganda's Constitutional Court nullified the law in August because when Parliament passed the bill it lacked quorum, the bill can still be re-introduced in Parliament.

What's more, when Gen. Museveni signed the bill into law on February 24, he told CNN in an interview that Gays were "disgusting."

The U.S. had subsequently announced sanctions against Uganda officials involved in corruption and the LGBT law but it may have been mostly for PR -- Gen. Museveni was able to attend the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and Kutesa had no problem taking his post at the UN.

Yet private individuals, and business establishments such as the Texas hotels have demonstrated that they can play a role in making things difficult for dictators like Gen. Museveni who was to have stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel on MacArthur Blvd., according to the DallasVoice.

He was then to attend a prayer service at Irving Convention Center, 500 West Las Colinas Blvd., Irving at 10 a.m. on Sunday, September 21 and address the meeting at 5 p.m. on the same day, according to the DallasVoice report.  By September 18, the day after the original DallasVoice report, The Four Seasons had cancelled Museveni's reservation.

The website also reported that the "Irving Convention Center and Irving police are also concerned about the controversial head-of-state’s visit," and that Gen. Museveni's aides were  "negotiating with the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine to host his stay."   (The ironic name of the hotel Museveni was negotiating with can't be missed).

Later that same day, on September 18, DallasVoice reported that the Gaylord wouldn't let Gen. Museveni sleep there.  "The Gaylord’s PR director, Martha Neibling, called Dallas Voice to say Museveni’s party inquired about staying at the property but because of logistics, the hotel was unable to  accommodate the Ugandan leader," the website reported.

That's how Gen. Museveni and his entourage ended up exiled at the private location in Allen, Texas.

Thanks to the good journalism of DallasVoice that stories such as the debacle in Irving still gets out -- Gen. Museveni earlier this year signed a $600,000 deal with Mercury llc, a pr firm in an attempt to garner some "positive" news.

 

Readers should tell the prestigious Waldorf Astoria in New York City to let Gen. Museveni know that he's no longer welcome there -- now and in the future.

You can reach  The Waldorf's spokesman Matt Zolbe at (212) 355- 3000 or send him a message via matt.zolbe@waldorfastoria.com

 

https://www.facebook.com/TheWaldorf

 

#waldorfastoria

 

 

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