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Ugandan Government Follows “Rolling Stone” Script for Gay Panic Defense in David Kato’s Murder

Jim Burroway

February 9th, 2011

Uganda’s Media Centre, which acts as the official press office of the Ugandan government, has issued an official statement on its “investigation” of the motives behind LGBT Advocate David Kato’s murder. The details from the statement match very closely a conspiracy theory posted by the managing editor of a Ugandan tabloid which conducted a “Hang Them!” campaign last October featuring Kato’s picture on the front cover.

According to the official statement, Enock Nsubuga purportedly confessed to murdering Kato because Kato refused to pay Nsubuga for sex. The Police Inspector General,  Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura says their “investigation” presents “no indications that the deceased’ campaign against Homosexuality Bill, that is before Parliament was a contributing factor to his death. The police has not received any information pointing to a hate crime apart from speculation from the public.” He also warned against public vigilante campaigns in Ugandan media and denounced the recent “Hang them!” campaign waged by the tabloid Rolling Stone (no relation to the U.S. publication by the same name) that was waged last fall. He also cautioned against inflammatory statements by clergy.

Kayihura’s statement indicates that Nsubuga was arrested on February 2, which is nearly a full week after Rolling Stone managing editor Giles Muhame posted a nearly identical conspiracy theory surrounding Kato’s death on Facebook. Muhame named “Eden” Nsubuga as  the “DESPERATE prisoner whom (Kato) attempted to force into a cruel sex bang.” Muhame also alledged that “the embassies have been giving Kato dollars which he has been flashing around to seduce young boys” and that “it’s estimated he sodomized about 300 boys in his regime as ;king of sodomy honchos’ in the country.”

Ugandan officials came up with their similar explanation for Kato’s murder — which just happens to match Muhame’s outrageous theories — before they even brought Nsubuga in for questioning, which raises several red flags as to the integrity of the police investigation. Corruption runs rampant in Uganda, and the police are generally reviled both for their corruption and incompetence. In 2010, Uganda was ranked at number 127 out of 178 countries by  Transparency International, a ranking that placed Uganda below Egypt, Kazakhstan and Mexico.

Front cover of the Oct 2, 2010 edition of Rolling Stone, featuring a photo of David Kato (left) and Bishop Christopher Senyonjo (right). (Click to enlarge.)

Last October, Kato’s face was emblazoned on the front page of the Ugandan Tabloid Rolling Stone. The story on the inside pages featured the headline, “Hang them: They Are After Our Kids!” David Kato, who was a spokesperson for Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), was one of the plaintiffs (or applicants) in the successful lawsuit seeking a permanent injunction against the Rolling Stone, preventing the further revelations of names, employers and residences of private LGBT people in Uganda.

It is unclear who provided the funds for Rolling Stone to publish. The 24-page publication contained almost no advertising. In the November 1, edition, Managing editor Giles Muhame taunted in an editorial, “I wish you knew who is behind us!! You would stop barking.” There are several indications that anti-gay pastor Martin Ssempa is, at the very least, behind several of the stories published in the paper. Muhame and advertising manager Cliff Abenaitwe both attend Ssempa’s Makerere Community Church.

Official endorsement of Muhame’s conspiracy theory neatly solves several problems for the Ugandan government. First, it gives them an explanation that allows them to defend the country against charges of endorsing violent homophobia against its LGBT citizens. It is also an explanation that allows Nsubuga to walk free whether he is innocent or guilty. If Nsubuga really is guilty, then the police have  pre-manufactured a defense for him which, in Uganda’s courts, is not only a virtual guarantee that he will walk away free, but he will be deemed a hero. And worse, if Nsubuga is actually innocent, his role as scapegoat for Kato’s murder will leave him relatively unscathed: he will still walk free and so will the real killer. Everybody’s off the hook, and everyone wins. Except justice.

Comments

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EZam
February 9th, 2011 | LINK

I still say the UN and/or some other international organization should investigate the case.

martin ssempa
February 9th, 2011 | LINK

Jim,

Sounds like you are making it up as you go along to suit your script. You confidently allege Giles Muhame is a member of my church. Which is A LIE..but then wait, Warren Throckmorton made it up first. But he has no evidence so he says “some people told me”. Sounds like most of this “someone told me” is either you or Warren making it up with a little help from gay Uganda. And by the way, what about the murder by Renato Seabra, 20,of Carlos De Castro, 65 in similar circumstances. Could this be the result of Muhame’s working in NY or just the self destructive nature of gay on gay violence which you never want to talk about. I will wait for your response on your evidence of Muhame’s membership in my church. Otherwise you are dealing in myths and warrens’s urban legends.

Martin Ssempa Phd

Priya Lynn
February 9th, 2011 | LINK

Martin, putting Phd after your name doesn’t give you any credibility.

a.mcewen
February 9th, 2011 | LINK

Ssempa, the fact that you actually have the nerve to post after all you have done and all that you are charged with just demonstrates . . . never mind. I will be polite. But you get the point.

Yuki Choe
February 9th, 2011 | LINK

Having the distinct realization that we are communicating with a deceitful genocidal murderous maniac sends tons of shivers down my spine. I dare not even address his all consumming evil.

Gerald
February 10th, 2011 | LINK

Martin,

Oh Martin, so the myths also anger and make you uncomfortable? It surprises me because all your hate campaign against homosexuality is based on myths. Say for instance the figures you give in relation to paedophilia among gay men, The “Homosexual agenda” document you are using was transcribed from the “Heterosexual agenda” document with alterations to fit your campaign.

One is not wrong to assume that Muhame goes to your church, but even if he doesnt go to your church, he is so inspired by you and he is picking the campaign from where you stopped and that makes you 2 religious fanatics.

Brian
February 10th, 2011 | LINK

Phd = Putrid Hateful Demigod
Is this the same so called pastor that show s porn movies in his so called church the church of porn. As one commentator said ‘at last a reason to go to church’ if it is is he not in court at the moment accused of a criminal conspiracy bribing some youth to say he had ‘gay’ sex with some rival pastor. If ever there was a reason to bury the so called ‘gay’ bill. Can you imagine every pastor politician businessman student accusing rivals of being gay.
Bravo at least to the Police Chief laying it on the line with regard to the hate campaign just a pity that his detectives are not as sharp. Mind you he comes from the Army not the decrepit police system

Marcel
February 10th, 2011 | LINK

Martin Ssempa, a Ugandan I will always support. For long we’ve dwelt wrongly on a man who has been misrepresented largely by the American media. Ssempa at all times has never been understood and BTB & Warren have championed a passionate war against him and his family in the US. Ssempa on many occassions has always pointed out that he does not support the killing of gays much as he does not support homosexuality. BTB went ahead to lie us that Muham of Rolling stone is a member of Ssempa’s church. I discovered yesterday that Giles is a member of an Anglican Church in one of the popular suburbs in Kampala. Jim et al are not helping homosexuals by doing that. A dog will always go back to its vomit.

Marcel

Priya Lynn
February 10th, 2011 | LINK

Marcel they might buy your BS in Uganda but you’ve got no hope of selling it here. You and Ssempa have done everything you can to demonize gays and its obvious you do that to promote the most violent attacks on them that you can.

GERARD IGA
February 10th, 2011 | LINK

as far as i am concerned,it is we Ugandans who have been demonized by gay activists and i can see some of you doing the same to Pr Ssempa here. Why? Simply because we have stood our ground and refused to believe that homosexuality is a human right.

you don’t like the facts on the ground about Kato’s murder because they do not help but hurt your cause.period.

and we Ugandans are among the most tolerant people in this world.with a diversity of native African tribes from different ethnic backgrounds,about 54,we are living together and overcoming our differences.

actually,what i must say is,most Ugandans are not baying for the blood of homosexuals but won’t give in to their demands for rights on grounds of their sexual preferences either.whatever persecution the gayuganda fellows are complaining about,it must be their own paranoia playing games on them.the burden of their own consciences.

we will not kill for what we believe but we are ready to be killed for it.

anteros
February 11th, 2011 | LINK

e.d.p.p.

Priya Lynn
February 11th, 2011 | LINK

Gerard, that was one of the most obvious and pathetic pack of lies I’ve ever heard. Tolerant people don’t seek to imprison and murder those who harm no one. Bahati has said he wants all gays killed and his kill the gays bill has broad support. You are baying for the blood of gays and you have killed for your barbaric beliefs and will kill again.

Brian
February 11th, 2011 | LINK

seems like mr Iga has fashioned all ugandans in his own image when he says we ugandans well we is the plural and contains mant views. On the domestic bliss you cite as evidence of tolerence well I think a lot of Northerners, Karamojong Westerners etc would not share your vision of harmonic life on the ground

Throbert McGee
February 11th, 2011 | LINK

“it’s estimated he sodomized about 300 boys in his regime as king of sodomy honchos in the country.”

“King of Sodomy” is an interesting turn of phrase in the Ugandan context, given the real-life history of Mwanga II (one of the last kings of independent Buganda — a region that covered what is now south-central Uganda, including the capital Kampala).

Anyway, during his reign from 1884-1897, Mwanga II was especially notorious for:

(a) persecuting African converts to Christianity and expelling Christian missionaries from Buganda (though his motives may have been rooted more in colonial-era politics than in a specific anti-religious hatred of Christianity)

(b) enjoying sex with a harem of young male pages

(c) having a few dozen of these pages murdered after they converted to Christianity and refused to have sex with him anymore — all of these young men are celebrated as martyrs by Ugandan Christians, and several of them were subsequently canonized by the Vatican and thereby became the first Catholic saints from Uganda

Thus, however outlandish and unfair the stereotype seems to us, the meme of Ugandan Christians being victimized by homosexuals may be part of the national mythology that goes all the way back to the late 19th century — well before Scott Lively, “Rolling Stone,” and Exodus International ever came along.

Throbert McGee
February 11th, 2011 | LINK

Which is A LIE..but then wait, Warren Throckmorton made it up first. But he has no evidence so he says “some people told me”. Sounds like most of this “someone told me” is either you or Warren making it up with a little help from gay Uganda.

I find it surprising and ironic that Ssempa connects Warren Throckmorton with some sort of gay Ugandan conspiracy! As far as I know, Throckmorton has long been relatively supportive of Christian “ex-gay” ministries, although not necessarily endorsing them outright.

EZam
February 12th, 2011 | LINK

No wonder Christians were persecuted everywhere. Mwanga II knew western religion would affect the culture and mentality of his people severely; what’s happening right now proved him right. Just look at the Romans, Greeks, Slavs, Celts, etc. Same thing. Japan successfully resisted Christianity and look at it now: 3rd most powerful nation in the world.

We need to send the right kind of “missionaries” over Africa: the likes of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens.

Throbert McGee
February 12th, 2011 | LINK

EZam, did you read the part about Mwanga killing young men just because they didn’t want to have sex with him?

Jim Burroway
February 12th, 2011 | LINK

EZam, did you read the part about Mwanga killing young men just because they didn’t want to have sex with him?

Actually if you step outside of the muddled world of Wikipedia and Scott Lively, you’ll find that the reasons for Kabaka Mewanga’s killing of the young men are considerably more complex. Mwanga feared the growing foreign influences of Christianity and Islam in his country and, more directly, in his court. The purges he conducted were aimed more at self preservation. It’s instructive that contemporary charges that he killed the young men originated from British colonialists and their missionaries who worked to overthrow Mwanga and establish a British protectorate, which they ultimately succeded in doing. One must always be wary of histories written by the victors.

Timothy Kincaid
February 17th, 2011 | LINK

Further,

It should be noted that while anti-gay activists tend to portray Mwanga as pedophile so as to conflate homosexuality, sexual coercion, and pedophilia, the majority of the “young men” victims were older than Mwanga himself.

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