Africa News blog
African business, politics and lifestyle
The latest twist in Uganda’s hang the ‘homos’ saga was played out last week when the High Court in Kampala ordering Rolling Stone newspaper to stop publishing the names, photographs and addresses of people it says are gay. Alongside the photos, the paper urged the government: “Hang them.”
The court order came too late for the 26 already featured in two issues of the young newspaper that most people in the East African country have never heard of.
Frank Mugisha, director of gay rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda, told me last week that almost everyone outed by the paper, including himself, had since been attacked or harassed and that some were in danger of losing their jobs.
The same day I spoke to Frank I met Giles Muhame, the defiant 22-year-old editor of Rolling Stone, who now says he will find a way to “dodge the law” and work through a list he says he has of 100 gay men and women.
Being gay or lesbian in Uganda is illegal and those who are risk being locked away for up to 14 years. Now, a new parliamentary bill wants gay people to face even stiffer penalties and is proposing life imprisonment and even death sentences in some cases.
Pepe Julia Onziema and her partner, who asked that her identity be hidden, spend most of their time together — indoors. They are a lesbian couple living in Uganda where homosexuality is against the law. Pepe is also a gay rights activist in Kampala and is openly vocal about her sexuality and because of that she is often victim to discrimination and harassment.