A suspected gay couple survived lynching by an angry mob in Kawuku Wakiso district central Uganda.
The incident happened last week after a long hunt for the two men who were for some time suspected of engaging in a queer relationship.
The pair was identified as Ashley Mugabi and a one Joseph (other name unknown) who irate Kawuku residents opted to burn to ashes.
As we have learnt, Joseph is married to Dorothy Nassalabwa and the couple has three children.
But to her shock, Nassalabwa says she found out that her man was “cheating on her” with another man (Mugabi).
This, when she revealed to residents, drove them mad with rage upon which a hunt for the gay couple started.
Mugabi and Joseph, after a long search, were found hiding in a clay mine where they have been partnering.
Residents descended on them with all sorts of weaponry and beat them beyond recognition.
As the beating commenced, Eric Obwinyi, a police officer attached to Kawuku Kawuku Police Post told our reporter, some other residents were already lighting a fire to set them ablaze.
It was at that point that officer Obwinyi who was passing by discovered the crime before it could be committed.
He rushed to the scene and rescued the gay suspects from the rowdy villagers.
“I had strange noise coming from a clay mine and decided to go check,” Obwinyi narrated.
“After rescuing the victims who were bleeding badly, I took them to Kawuku police where they were briefly taken into custody to save them from the angry residents who wanted to take their lives.”
Joseph’s wife, Nassalabwa said she couldn’t believe her husband was having an “unholy partnership” with his workmate Ashley.
“I even raised the issue with some of his family members. They immediately disowned him on learning about it,” Nassalabwa said.
Nassalabwa further explained that she has been trying to trace Joseph for almost four years but all in vain.
“Joseph was thrown out of the village in 2009. At that time, he was involved in the acts of sodomy with a one Stephen Kamanzi, a milk vendor,” she continued.
Nassalabwa said that she separated with Joseph but always contacted him for assistance to raise their three children.
“I don’t need him as a husband but I need assistance for the children instead of him sleeping around with boys. I think it’s an evil act”.
In 2011, David Kato Kisule, a Ugandan teacher and LGBT rights activist, considered a father of Uganda’s gay rights movement was murdered, shortly after winning a lawsuit against a magazine which had published his name and photograph identifying him as gay and calling for him to be executed.
The gay law
The Ugandan Parliament on 20 December 2013 passed the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014 with the death penalty proposal dropped in favour of life in prison.
The bill was signed into law by the President of Uganda on 24 February 2014.
The legislative proposal would broaden the criminalisation of same-sex relations in Uganda domestically, and further includes provisions for Ugandans who engage in same-sex relations outside of Uganda, asserting that they may be extradited for punishment back to Uganda, and includes penalties for individuals, companies, media organisations, or non-governmental organisations that support gays.
The private member’s bill was submitted by Member of Parliament David Bahati on 14 October 2009.
The law then suffered a setback after the Constitutional Court annulled the anti-gay legislation and ruled that the bill was passed by MPs in December 2014 without the requisite quorum and was therefore illegal.
President Museveni too later backtracked on the bill after numerous threats of aid cuts and international isolation.