Uganda Watch: Bahati questioned about death of MP; Museveni outlines position on gays

Bahati under scrutiny

David Bahati finds himself in the spotlight again but this time not for his Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Rather he is under some scrutiny over his alleged relationship with a murder suspect. The Observer has the story:

Almost a week after Cerinah Nebanda’s death, David Bahati, the anti-gay bill sponsor, finds himself thrust into the unviable limelight as a person of interest in the death of the Butaleja woman Member of Parliament.

Until now, Bahati was known and has struggled to keep attention on his anti-gay draft legislation that has caused an uproar in the international community.

But on Wednesday, Nebanda’s family fingered Bahati as the link between Cerinah and her alleged boyfriend Adam Kalungi, who is a key suspect and still on the run. Bahati, in a statement issued yesterday, roundly denied that claim. Here is how Bahati’s name came to the fore.

Read the rest of the story at the link above. It appears that President Museveni and Bahati are giving different accounts of Bahati’s knowledge of the suspect.  It is hard to say whether this development will hamper the author of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Museveni outlines position on gays

President Yowari Museveni outlined his position on gays in Uganda earlier this week.  At the installation of Catholic Archbishop Ntagali, Museveni said

“I have been telling these people (pro gay activists) that nobody will kill or prosecute them for being homosexual, but there should be no promotion of homosexuality,”

It is not clear what Museveni means by promotion. However, in the current Anti-Homosexuality Bill this section relates to promotion:

13. Promotion of homosexuality.

(1) A person who –

(a) participates in production. procuring, marketing, broadcasting, disseminating, publishing pornographic materials for purposes of promoting homosexuality;

(b) funds or sponsors homosexuality or other related activities;

(c) offers premises and other related fixed or movable assets for purposes of homosexuality or promoting homosexuality;

(d) uses electronic devices which include internet, films, mobile phones for purposes of homosexuality or promoting homosexuality and;

(e) who acts as an accomplice or attempts to promote or in any way abets homosexuality and related practices;

commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a line of live thousand currency points or imprisonment of a minimum of five years and a maximum of seven years or both fine and imprisonment.

(2) Where the offender is a corporate body or a business or an association or a non-governmental organization, on conviction its certificate of registration shall be cancelled and the director or proprietor or promoter shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for seven years.

The free speech implications of this section are clear. Ugandans will have to watch what they say and it is easy to see how the section could be abused by those in power.


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  • Lynn David

    This is beginning to sound like similar to what happened with Saddam Hussein. While he lived his repressive (non-democratic) government stopped the natural bigotry of Islam coming to the fore. Then when he was removed, and vigilantism took over against gays in Iraq.

    Should Museveni be deposed, I wonder if the mob-inclined, pseudo-democratic procedures towards gays in Uganda might be imposed.

  • F Young

    The Observer article is amazing, but seems to be all too typical of what passes for “politics” in Uganda (or more accurately, despotism, nepotism, reign of terror and low-grade civil war).

    You couldn’t make something like this up; nobody would believe you.

  • Carol A Ranney

    Wow, after reading a series of articles in The Observer on the death (apparent poisoning) of Cerinah Nebanda, it sounds like Bahati has a lot more pressing things to worry about than homosexuality.

  • Richard Willmer

    Clause 13 of the AHB is designed to make LGB/T/I Ugandans (actual or ‘suspected’) friendless and utterly destitute. That is perfectly clear.

    And then, of course, there’s the even more appalling Clause 5, which could easily be used to ‘justify’ lynchings etc.

    Thank you for reminding us, Warren.

  • Richard Willmer

    On the subject of Bahati’s alleged involvement in this murder: an awful thought has struck me. What if Bahati is being ‘set up’ as the ‘fall guy’ for ‘political reasons’? Now, whilst I obviously think that Bahati’s behaviour in other spheres has been utterly deplorable, it would not surely be right if he were implicated in the crime he didn’t commit, or to which he was not an accessory. Two ‘wrongs’ would not make a ‘right’.

    Just a thought.

    Whatever we may think of our own ‘politicos’ and their policies, we are so fortunate in the USA / UK.

  • Richard Willmer

    Just a point of fact: Ntagali is an Anglican, not a Catholic. Cyprian Lwanga is still the Catholic Archbishop of Kampala.

    Nebanda was a Catholic; perhaps this was the source of any confusion.

  • Richard Willmer

    Also: the initial finding of the autopsy have apparently been published …

  • Frank

    “Bahati has a lot more pressing things to worry about than homosexuality.”

    He may wind up taking it up as a hobby in prison.

  • Richard Willmer

    Well, from what I’ve heard, Dodgy Dave is quite ‘highly-sexed’!

    However, one should not confuse the ‘gay’ activities of a highly-sexed heterosexual with genuine homosexuality … which is about so much more than ‘just sex’.

  • Richard Willmer

    (Just to clarify: I have NOT heard that Bahati indulges in ‘gay activities’, merely that he is ‘highly-sexed’, i.e. the second of my two paragraphs above is a ‘general point’, and not be understood as specifically about Bahati.)

  • Richard Willmer

    There are reports of arrests of gays coming in – I’ve sent you details, Warren.

    Meanwhile, Ssempa, that well-known banana-brandishing XXXtian (!), and others keep up the tirade.

  • Richard Willmer

    In another development, a UG court throws out the case against playwright David Cecil:

    Lack of evidence is cited as the reason.

  • Richard Willmer
  • Richard Willmer

    I’ve hear that the two have now been released. I don’t know yet if they have been bailed, or simply released without charge. It was probably just a bit of ‘anti-gay posturing’ by the authorities (as if they didn’t have better things to do!).

  • Richard Willmer

    UPDATE: They are police, and are due to be charged (or not) on the 9th. Charges as yet unknown.

  • Richard Willmer

    CORRECTION (I was trying to do two things at once!)

    UPDATE: They are ON police BAIL, and are due to be charged (or not) on the 9th. Charges as yet unknown.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Warren

    Please do NOT publish the stuff I sent you on this. I have been advised that it would be better if the names of the detainees were not too widely publicized, especially if the likes of ‘Maazi NCO’ are still a stool pigeons on this blog.

  • Richard Willmer

    A nasty new blog aimed at ‘outing’ people in UG: