Friday, November 1, 2013

British national charged in Uganda over homosexuality

By Martin Ssebuyira Entebbe A British national has been charged with using money to lure youth into homosexuality. Mr Bernard Randell, a retired banker, appeared before the Entebbe Magistrates Court yesterday where he admitted to engaging in homosexuality but only in the UK. His co-accused, Mr Albert Chepeoyek, with whom he lives in Katabi village, Entebbe Municipality, however, denied the charges that included committing acts of gross indecency and trafficking obscene materials. State prosecutor Ivan Kyazze told court that the duo performed homosexual acts on Mr Eric Bugembe, a special hire driver, in September in exchange for money. “Medical tests were carried out on the two suspects and confirmed that they were engaging in homosexual acts,” Mr Kyazze told court the packed court. According to detectives who have been following the case, Mr Randell reported Mr Wasswa to Entebbe Police Post after he allegedly stole his laptop. However, when the special hire driver was interrogated, he revealed how he had been forced to grab the laptop after Mr Randell failed to pay him despite luring him into homosexual acts. Man given bail The lawyer of the accused, Ms Annette Adamia, asked court to grant them bail as investigations into the case continue. Despite protests from the prosecutor that the suspects could lure more people into the practice, magistrate Hellen Ajio went ahead and granted them bail of Shs1.5 million each while their sureties were bonded at Shs500,000. They are expected back in court on November 15. Mr Abdullah Ndere, the manager Uganda Tours and Travel and Mr Wilfred Kirumira,40, stood surety for Mr Randell while Mr Norman Mugisha and Ms Aisha Nabukeera stood surety for Mr Chepeoyek. The magistrate also cautioned the suspects against engaging in acts that corrupt morals while on bail. Same-sex relationships are currently illegal in Uganda—as they are in many sub-Saharan African countries—punishable by incarceration in prison for up to 14 years. In Uganda, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill tabled in Parliament souhtto introduce a death penalty for people who are considered serial offenders, are suspected of “aggravated homosexuality” and are HIV-positive, or who engage in sexual acts with those under 18 years of age. The Bill received significant criticism from many Western governments some of whom threatened to cut off financial aid to Uganda. The bill has since been shelved.

No comments: