A Bill against homosexuality is in the offing, the Ugandan minister for ethics and homophobia, Dr. James Nsaba Buturo, has said.
Addressing a press conference at the Media Centre yesterday, Buturo said the country was besieged by homosexuality,
pornography, prostitution, human sacrifice, drug abuse, embezzlement and witchcraft to the extent that it was dangerously becoming a permissive society.
He noted that once the Bill is passed into law, it will be an offence to publish and
distribute literature on homosexuality or advocate for it. He also stated that it would become impossible for homosexuals to address press conferences and attract people to their cause, once the Bill becomes law.
He disclosed that some donors
were threatening to withdraw funding if Uganda becomes more hostile to homosexuals: I all the time tell them to leave us alone. I say (to them) that Uganda's integrity is more than the money they give us. We are not going to be taken advantage of on
account of financial support .
Buturo urged religious institutions to fight immorality, arguing that they are supremely mandated to address matters of the soul.
He disclosed that he was 'looking after' 60 former homosexuals,
saying they are under threat from their former colleagues. He, however, did not name the place where they are being kept.
Britain and Canada have protested over a proposed law that would result in gays in Uganda being imprisoned for life or even executed.
Gordon Brown followed Stephen Harper, the Canadian Prime Minister, in telling Uganda that the legislation was
unacceptable. Brown made his views plain in a breakfast conversation with President Museveni of Uganda on the margins of the Commonwealth summit.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 is going through Uganda's Parliament after receiving its first
reading last month. According to Clause 2 of the Bill, a person who is convicted of gay sex is liable to life imprisonment. But if that person is also HIV positive the penalty — under the heading aggravated homosexuality — is death.
Bill has not been endorsed by the Ugandan government but it has allowed it to proceed, and some top officials are said to have praised it.
A Canadian government spokesman said: If adopted, a Bill further criminalising homosexuality would
constitute a significant step backwards for the protection of human rights in Uganda.
The Bill proposes a three-year prison sentence for anyone who is aware of evidence of homosexuality and fails to report it to the police within 24 hours. And
it would impose a sentence of up to seven years for anyone who defends the rights of gays and lesbians.
Addressing the Commonwealth People's Forum, Stephen Lewis, the former UN envoy on Aids in Africa, said that the Bill made a mockery of
Commonwealth principles. Nothing is as stark, punitive and redolent of hate as the Bill in Uganda.
The government responded strongly to international criticism over the proposed anti-gay law, saying the process would continue uninterrupted.
Speaker Edward Sekandi told Daily Monitor that it was necessary to do whatever we can to stop homosexual liaisons in Uganda.
Stephen Green, the director of campaign group Christian Voice, has spoken out in support of the death penalty for homosexuals.
His comments come almost a month after Uganda proposed a law that would make gay sex punishable by a life sentence or
In a statement that will outrage human rights groups, Stephen Green claimed:
Gay people who have sex knowing they are HIV positive should be given the death penalty because they have committed murder ;
Capital punishment is acceptable because it is ordained by God in the Bible;
Britain's laws promote perversion
because they do not make homosexuality a criminal offence.
Green said: As a Christian I agree with the death penalty and I don't see why infecting someone with HIV should be treated in any other way than if you killed someone with a knife. It is extraordinary to think it is OK to infect someone else with
HIV and get away with it.
Green's organisation is urging other Christians to support the Ugandan people in their determination to rid their nation of foreign homosexual proselytisation . It claims gay westerners are travelling to the
country to convert Ugandans. Green added: This law is an understandable reaction to the pressure from human rights activists and homosexuals who are coming to the country as sex tourists.
Uganda will soften its proposed anti-gay legislation, but the government denied on that it was bowing to an outcry in the West over a controversial bill that could have seen homosexuals put to death.
Ethics and Integrity Minister Nsaba Buturo told
Reuters that the revised law would now probably limit the maximum penalty for offenders to life in prison rather than execution.
There have been a lot of discussions in government ... regarding the proposed law, but we now think a life sentence
could be better because it gives room for offenders to be rehabilitated, he said in an interview: Killing them might not be helpful.
Uganda's president Yoweri Museveni has signalled his opposition to a death penalty clause in proposed anti-homosexual legislation.
Museveni has told colleagues he believes the bill is too harsh and has encouraged his ruling National Resistance
Movement Party to overturn the death sentence provision, which would apply to sexually active gays living with HIV or in cases of same-sex rape, according to a copy of the draft law.
The bill, however, still says anyone convicted of a homosexual
act – which includes touching someone of the same sex with the intent of committing a homosexual act – would face life imprisonment. It is unclear whether Museveni supports that provision.
Gay-rights activist Peter Tatchell said that even if the
death penalty was removed from the bill, it would still contradict several major international conventions on human rights, which could cause donors to reduce their aid to Uganda: Even a softened bill will be extremely repressive and discriminatory.
Even before this new law, homosexual relations were punishable by life imprisonment and there was widespread discrimination and mob violence. The status quo won't change.
A senior minister suggested scrapping the death penalty in favour of
counselling. The death penalty is likely to be removed, said James Nsaba Buturo, Uganda's minister of state for ethics and integrity. The president doesn't believe in killing gays. I also don't believe in it. I think gays can be counselled and
they stop the bad habit.
Ruling party spokeswoman Mary Karoro Okurut said she also agreed with the president that some punishments in the bill should be dropped. But she said she would still push for a modified version of the bill when it
comes to parliament in late February or early March.
The Ugandan lawmaker who proposed a highly contentious bill that would, if enacted, broaden the criminalization of homosexuality in the east African nation said Friday that he will refuse any request to withdraw the legislation.
Parliament David Bahati said he felt the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is necessary to protect Uganda's children from being recruited into homosexuality: I stand by the bill. I will not withdraw it . The process of legislating a law to
protect our children against homosexuality and defending our family values must go on.
Bahati's statement was made one day after Minister of State for Investment Aston Kajara said the government would ask Bahati to scrap the bill because they
fear backlash from foreign investors.
Ever since the bill was tabled, there have been a lot of outcries not only here but from all over the world, Kajara said. There has been negative publicity on Uganda which is not good for investment.
As government, we shall talk to the private member who brought it to parliament and request him to withdraw it.
Breaking his silence on Uganda's controversial homophobic bill – which was put forward by a member of the ruling party – Uganda's president, Yoweri Museveni, said it had become a foreign policy issue and needed further consultation before being
voted on in parliament.
The proposed law, which has been pushed by local evangelical preachers and vocally supported by senior government officials, also threatens life imprisonment for anyone convicted of gay sex.
While broadly supported
domestically, the legislation has caused a storm of protest abroad and consternation from western donors who fund a large chunk of Uganda's budget.
Addressing a party conference, Museveni said numerous western leaders had spoken to him about the
When I was at the Commonwealth conference, what was [the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper] talking about? The gays. UK prime minister Gordon Brown ... what was he talking about? The gays, said Museveni.
The US secretary
of state, Hillary Clinton, had also called him to express strong concerns about the proposed law, he said. It's a foreign policy issue, and we must handle it in a way that does not compromise our principles but also takes into account our foreign
Museveni said the proposed law did not necessarily reflect party or government policy and his cabinet would discuss the bill with David Bahati, the MP who introduced it, before it was put to a vote.
The UN's top human rights official has called on Uganda to drop a proposed anti-homosexuality law that would impose the death penalty on some gay and lesbian people.
Navi Pillay, the UN's high commissioner for human rights, joined a growing chorus
of opposition condemning the bill as discriminatory and called for homosexuality to be decriminalised in the country.
The bill proposes draconian punishments for people alleged to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered – namely life
imprisonment, or in some cases, the death penalty, she said: To criminalise people on the basis of colour or gender is now unthinkable in most countries. The same should apply to an individual's sexual orientation.
Pillay called on the
Ugandan government to put the draft bill on hold because it breaches international human rights standards.
The UN said Uganda's parliament may discuss the bill as early as next week. It has provoked criticism from western governments and gay
rights groups and protests in London, New York and Washington.
A Ugandan preacher said he was planning a million-man march to support the legislation. Pastor Martin Ssempa, who has close ties to US evangelicals and to the family of the
president, Yoweri Museveni, said the demonstration was being organised for 17 February. We want to show how many people support the bill, Ssempa told journalist
55 British Members of Parliament (MPs) have condemned Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
They have signed an Early Day Motion (EDM 575) in the UK Parliament, urging the scrapping of the Bill. Support for the parliamentary motion comes from across
the political spectrum, from left to right. Many more signatures are expected as MPs return to the House of Commons.
The EDM, drafted by east London Labour MP Harry Cohen, urges the Ugandan government to uphold international humanitarian law by
abandoning the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, decriminalizing same-sex acts between consenting adults in private, and outlawing discrimination against gay people.
That this House calls on the British Government and
the European Union to press the government of Uganda not to proceed with the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which violates the equality and non-discrimination provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter of Human and People's
Rights; abhors that this Bill, currently before the Uganda parliament, proposes the death penalty for repeat homosexual acts, extends the existing penalty of life imprisonment for anal intercourse to all other same-sex behaviour, including the mere
touching of another person with the intent to have homosexual relations and imposes life imprisonment for contracting a same-sex marriage; notes that under the provisions of the Bill membership of providing funding for gay organisations advocating gay
human rights and providing condoms or safer sex advice to gay people will result in a sentence of between five and seven years for promoting homosexuality and that a person in authority who fails to report offenders to the police within 24 hours will
incur a three year prison sentence; further notes that this monstrous proposed law contains extra-territorial jurisdiction so that it will apply to Ugandans who breach its provisions whilst living abroad, even in countries where such behaviour is not a
criminal offence, and that such Ugandans living overseas could be subject to extradition, trial and punishment in Uganda; and demands that the Ugandan government uphold international humanitarian law by abandoning the Anti-Homosexuality Bill,
decriminalising same-sex acts between consenting adults in private, and outlawing discrimination against gay people.
We hope this motion will send a signal from the British parliament to the Ugandan government that the
Anti-Homosexuality Bill constitutes an outrageous attack on the human rights of Uganda's lesbian, gay and bisexual citizens, said Peter Tatchell of the London-based gay human rights group OutRage!
Even if the death penalty is dropped, the
Bill will still be unacceptable. It will still violate the equality guarantees of international human rights agreements, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, added Tatchell.
The British government will ban a Ugandan MP from travelling to the UK if he is successful in passing a law that would impose the death penalty in Uganda for being gay.
Civil servants in the Foreign Office, the Department for International
Development and the Borders Agency are drawing up plans to block the visa of born-again Christian MP David Bahati if he does not drop legislation that would see consenting adults who have gay sex imprisoned for life and impose the death penalty on those
with HIV – which will be called aggravated homosexuality .
The bill also proposes the death penalty for those having gay sex with anyone under the age of 18, with someone disabled or what the legislation describes as serial
It also calls for life prison sentences for those promoting homosexuality , which could come to mean human rights groups or those who fail to inform on a gay couple.
One senior British government source said the issue
could turn into a major diplomatic incident if the Ugandans do not back down . President Barack Obama has already described the legislation as odious.
A proposed anti-pornography law could see journalists and ISPs jailed for terms ranging from five to 10 years and their businesses closed, 'Ethics' Minister James Nsaba Buturo said.
Buturo said pornography, which he described as a terrible
vice, was growing in the country but the laws against it were too weak. He said the new law, which extensively expands the definition of pornographic material and the accompanying sanctions, will help rein in offenders. Those who deal in
pornographic materials, your days are numbered, Buturo said.
We have finally acted and this time, this law will work because our integrity is not for sale, he told journalists. The Bill, he said also provides for fines. He emphasised
that pornography is evil and makes the mind receptive to other vices such as homosexuality .
The current legal provisions on pornography prohibit obscene publications but Buturo says this law is incomprehensive. The issue of pornography
transcends publications and includes communication, speech, entertainment, stage play, broadcast, music, dance, art, fashion, motion picture and audio recording.
Under the proposed Bill, pornography is defined as any form of communication from
literature to fashion or photography that depicts unclothed or under-clothed parts of the human body (such as breasts, thighs, buttocks or genitalia), that narrates or depicts sexual intercourse or that describes or exhibits anything that can lead to
According to the proposed Bill, pornography includes fashion , implying that women could be arrested for wearing short skirts and skimpy dresses.
An increase in pornographic materials in the Ugandan mass media
and nude dancing in entertainment world calls for long legal framework to regulate such vices, he said. Only teaching aides, spouses and sportsmen will get exemptions of punishment from the new law.
However, analysts say the flaws of the
proposed law, lies in the broad definition of pornography.
A planned conference by sex workers, which was scheduled to start in Entebbe, was abruptly halted by the government, saying it was illegal.
The conference was organised by Akina Mama Wa Afrika, an international women's rights NGO with offices
in Kampala, was to be held in a hotel in Entebbe.
Addressing journalists in Kampala, 'Ethics' Minister James Nsaba Buturo said the conference had attracted prostitutes from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Government reiterates its position that
prostitution is a punishable offence. While it is true that we have had problems with enforcing the law, the government is determined to defend innocent Ugandans who very often fall victim to selfish as well as misguided individuals who are promoting
prostitution, Dr Buturo said, adding he ordered the hotel not to allow the meeting to take place. Promotion of criminal acts under the claim of defense of one's human rights is not one for this government.
Uganda's anti-gay bill has been deemed out of time for the current sittings of parliament and its proponents are unlikely to be able revive it for some time.
Uganda's reviled anti-gay bill, which mandates the death penalty in some cases, remains
in limbo after parliament adjourned without a debate.
Edward Ssekandi Kiwanuk, the parliamentary speaker, ruled there was no time to take up the bill this session. He has adjourned the parliament and set no date for its return.
Kawesa, spokeswoman for parliament, told Associated Press that the anti-gay bill could come back up for debate in the next parliament but would probably take time to get back to the floor. David Bahati, the MP who authored the bill, had said he would try
to move it forward in the next session if it was not voted on this time.
Opponents of the legislation welcomed the setback. Alice Jay, campaign director of the online group Avaaz, said:
The news that the
brutal anti-gay law won't be discussed in parliament today is a victory for all Ugandans and people across the world who value human rights. This vile bill is a matter of life and death for gay Ugandans, and would have seen the execution, imprisonment
and persecution of friends of Avaaz, and thousands of others who have committed no crime at all. We must now ensure this heinous bill can never return to parliament again.
The administration of Uganda President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has rejected MP David Bahati's anti-gay bill.
Bahati's controversial bill would increase the penalties for being gay in a nation where it is already a crime. The measure, first
introduced in 2009, proposed putting repeat offenders to death under certain circumstances. It also would have criminalized discussion of homosexuality and penalized a person who knowingly rents to a gay or lesbian person.
Lawmakers closed their
legislative session in May without voting on the measure, but a defiant Bahati insisted he would re-introduce his bill in February. But Uganda's Cabinet have decided to drop the measure.
Bahati said: The future of this country's children will
be determined by the people's representatives in Parliament.
A Ugandan MP has revived a controversial anti-gay bill but dropped the provision for the death penalty for certain homosexual acts.
A BBC correspondent says MPs laughed, clapped and cried out: Our bill, our bill, when its architect David
Bahati reintroduced the draft legislation as a private members bill.
The bill increases the punishment to life in prison for homosexual offences. Anyone failing to report to the authorities a person they knew to be homosexual would also be liable
But those found guilty of aggravated homosexuality - defined as when one of the participants is a minor, HIV-positive, disabled or a serial offender - would no longer face the death penalty, as originally proposed.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill was shelved in 2011 after an international outcry.
Uganda has announced a ban on 38 non-governmental organisations it accuses of undermining the national culture by promoting homosexuality.
Religious nutter Simon Lokodo, the country's ethics and integrity minister, claimed the groups were
receiving support from abroad for Uganda's homosexuals and recruiting young children into homosexuality:
I have established beyond reasonable doubt that the 38 NGOs, if not even more, exist not for humanitarian
reasons but to destroy the traditions and culture of this country by promoting homosexuality,
Homosexuality is illegal, unacceptable and strange to our culture. It doesn't have any positive aspects at all. If homosexuality is
promulgated and legitimised, that will be like having no future of society. There is no procreation between man and man or woman and woman. We condemn it very strongly.
On Monday he ordered the break-up of a gay rights workshop
organised by the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project at a hotel just outside the capital, Kampala. Police wearing riot gear sealed off the venue for several hours.
Wearing of miniskirts could soon land one in jail or attract heavy fines if Uganda's Parliament approves a new piece of legislation that defines anything sexy to be illegal pornagraphy.
In its current form, it is proposed that those found
guilty of abetting pornography face a fine of Shs10 million under the draft law or a jail stint not exceeding 10 years, or both.
But the draft law ran into early turbulence in the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee after some members
expressed concerns about its wide reaching implications for freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution. MPs in the committee also criticised the government's attempts to legislate for sex, a course of action which could see it labelling some age-old
cultural practices as pornographic.
The Bill defines pornography as any cultural practice, form of behaviour or form of communication or speech or information or literature or publication in whole or publication in part or news story or
entertainment or stage play or broadcast or music or dance or art or graphic or picture or photography or video recording or leisure activity or show or exhibition. Lawmakers said the Bill's definition of pornography was too broad and that it went
against Uganda's tradition of being tolerant of cultural diversity.
Members, however, flatly rejected the minister's proposal to establish an Anti-Pornography Committee, observing that the police would enforce the law.
It also prohibits any
combination of the preceding that depicts unclothed or under clothed parts of the human body such as breasts, thighs, buttocks and genitalia, a person engaged in explicit sexual activities or conduct; erotic behaviour intended to cause sexual excitement
and any indecent act or behaviour tending to corrupt morals.
'Ethics' Minister Reverend Simon Lokodo, an extremist noted for a string of repressive law proposals, presented the proposed law backed by Deputy Attorney General Fred Ruhindi. He
claimed the Bill was needed to protect women and children against exploitation and curb increasing immorality. Lokodo spewed:
The need to put in place a law that prohibits pornography is necessitated by the dangers it
poses to moral fabric of the society
While the Bill seeks to outlaw indecent dressing among other social behaviours deemed pornographic under the legal parameters of the Bill, other lawmakers said the lack of definition for what
constitutes "decent dressing" makes the Bill awkward and asked the government to stop curtailing freedoms in the country which could scare away tourists.
The Uganda Law Reform Commission (ULRC) has asked Parliament to throw out the newly-tabled Anti- Pornography Bill 2011, arguing that the government can fight pornography without enacting a new law. Patrick Nyakana, a ULRC
commissioner told Parliament:
We conclude that the provisions of the Anti-Pornography Bill 2011 are already catered for in the Penal Code Act, the Computer Misuse Act, Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act 2009 and
other laws and thus, there is no need for this law.
Ugandan MPs have passed a nasty anti-pornography Bill that will ban miniskirts and other clothing deemed to be sexually explicit.
The Bill, widely opposed as a threat to women's rights, could also see many films and TV dramas being banned. Opponents
claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on their television channels.
According to the Daily Monitor the anti-pornography Bill outlaws anything that shows sexual parts of a person such as breasts, thighs, buttocks or
any erotic behaviour intended to cause sexual excitement or any indecent act or behaviour tending to corrupt morals.
The Bill needs to be signed by the president before becoming law.
The Ugandan parliament's has also made an abrupt decision
to pass anti-homosexuality laws that would condemn same-sex couples to life in jail for mere touching,
The bill, rushed through by MPs, also bans the promotion of homosexuality and makes it a crime punishable by prison not to report gay people to
the authorities or to conduct a marriage ceremony for same-sex couples.
The law was first introduced in 2009, when it advocated the death penalty, but after a worldwide outcry, that was removed from the final version .
extremist MP who proposed the bill, David Bahati claimed:
This is victory for Uganda. I am glad the parliament has voted against evil. Because we are a God-fearing nation, we value life in a holistic way. It is because
of those values that members of parliament passed this bill regardless of what the outside world thinks.
Frank Mugisha , a leading Ugandan gay rights activist, said:
This is a truly terrifying day
for human rights in Uganda. It will open a new era of fear and persecution. If this law is signed by president Museveni, I'd be thrown in jail for life and in all likelihood killed. We urgently need world leaders to call on president Museveni and demand
he stops this bill of hate from becoming law.
More than a million people have backed Mugisha's campaign on the petition website Avaaz to stop the laws.
Dozens of gay men are reported to have been
arrested across northern Nigeria as police begin to enforce nasty new laws that criminalise same-sex marriages and membership of gay rights organisations.
The legislation, condemned by the US secretary of state, John Kerry, and human rights groups
in Europe, has come into force shortly after the Ugandan parliament passed an Anti-Homosexuality Act.
Last week Nigeria's president, Goodluck Jonathan, signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which provides penalties of up to 14 years in
jail for a gay marriage and up to 10 years' imprisonment for membership or encouragement of gay clubs, societies and organisations.
Dorothy Aken'Ova, executive director of the country's International Centre for Reproductive Health and Sexual
Rights, said that the legislation, hailed the Jail the Gays law, had led to mass arrests. Police in Bauchi state, she claimed, had a list of 168 purportedly gay men, of whom 38 had been arrested.
[Note that other reports say that the miniskirt prohibition was actually removed from the bill prior to being passed, but it was discussed as part of the law throughout the period when the bill was being debated.
Around 200 women took to the streets
of Uganda's capital defending their right to wear miniskirts. The demonstration came after the government approved a new law that bans indecent outfits for women.
The BBC reports that the demonstrators, some wearing now-forbidden
miniskirts, gathered in Kampala to protest the draconian law, arguing it provides a free pass for sexual harassment and encourages blaming the victim.
The new rule is part of a piece of anti-pornography legislation that lists indecent show ...
of sexual parts of a person for primary sexual excitement as a form of pornography, Ugandan newspaper Daily Monitor explains. And just in case that sounds confusing, The nutter Ethics Minister Simon Lokodo was on hand to clarify: If your miniskirt
falls within the ambit of this definition then I am afraid you will be caught up by the law. Earlier, he added that this includes anything above the knee.
Activists say that since the ban became law there has been an explosion of
vigilantes attacking and stripping women who they consider to be dressed inappropriately, according to Daily Monitor. We shall not allow women to pass on the road with skimpy dresses. Undressing them in public is the only way to stop them, one man
told the newspaper.
Activist Patience Akumu, from campaign group End Miniskirt Harassment, told Voice of America that the government is letting mobs harass women over their clothing in order to score cheap political points in the conservative
society. I think women have become an easy target, a scapegoat for all the problems, she added.
Having nude photos on mobile devices in Uganda can land you in jail for up to 10 years under the country's nasty anti-pornography law, which parliament passed in 2014.
Arch moralist Simon Lokodo, Uganda's minister of 'ethics', told state-owned
media that the country has bought an $88,000 pornography-detection machine from a company in South Korea. It will arrive in Uganda next month, he said.
Lokodo reportedly says it will be able to detect, control, and scrutinize porn on mobile
handsets and other electronic devices.
The irony of spending tens of thousands of dollars on a pornography-detection machine in the face of competing needs that are arguably much more urgent was not lost on everyone. In particular, Uganda at
one point earlier this year had no working radiotheraphy machines for cancer patients. A tweeter called Payizus tellingly commented:
The gov't of Uganda bought a porn detecting machine. The same gov't is still looking
money to buy a cancer Machine. #Mbarara #CancerCharity
The Ugandan government's obsession with enforcing morality and protecting the country's cultural values has added a new twist: a nine-member anti-pornographic control committee.
The committee, which was sworn in Kampala in late August, is expected to
stamp out pornography by collecting and destroying pornographic materials, and to apprehend and prosecute perpetrators. The committee will have a staff of between 30 and 40 people who will use a high-end 'machine' to detect the sharing of nude materials
on mobile phones, computers, and television. This week the porn committee reportedly says messages of a sexual nature, or sexting, will also be defined as porn and attract punishment.
Simon Lokodo, Uganda's ethics minister, the minister, who has
repeatedly denounced homosexuality and pornography, said the 'machine' will help stop one of the deadliest moral diseases in this country. Lokodo also claimed pornography was to blame for the increasing levels of drug abuse among the youth, teenage
pregnancies, and abortion, according to the Daily Monitor newspaper. Pornography is now eroding Uganda's human resource, which, he said, will hinder the achievement of our vision.