Ugandan Anti Gay Preacher Finds Difficulty Facing Accuser in Homophobic Smear Case

Published: November 15, 2011

One of the three accused Christian preachers charged with spreading a homophobic smear about a fellow cleric yesterday had difficulty facing his accuser in court.

Brian Ntwaatwa, a witness in Uganda’s on going homophobic smear trial featuring three homophobic Christian preachers yesterday told how the conspiracy to tarnish the name of Pastor Robert Kayanja was hatched and executed.

The three preachers, Martin Sempa, Bob Kyazze and Solomon Male are the accused in this landmark case in which they and their lawyers, Henry Ddungu and David Kaggwa, together with David Mukalazi and Deborah Kyomuhendo (agents of the accused) face charges of conspiring to injure Pastor Kayanja’s reputation with a homophobic smear campaign. The two lawyers were included for allegedly commissioning false affidavits.

During Ntwaatwa’s testimony, Bob Kyazze, one of the accused seemed to find it difficult to stand and face his accuser. He squatted in the dock holding his head as Ntwaatwa gave blow by blow details of how he was ordered by Pastor Kyazze to accuse Pastor Kayanja of sodomy.

Ntwaatwa, one of the young men who had originally accused Kayanja of sodomising him but later retracted his complaint from the police saying it was false, told the court that Pastor Kyazze paid him Sh100,000 ( about US$20) to recruit people who would claim were sodomised by Kayanja.

When police investigated the initial accusations of sodomy against Kayanja made by Sempa, Kyazze and Male, they found that the three had conspired to injure Kayanja’s reputation by paying young men money to record complaints with the police claiming that Kayanja had sodomised them.

Subsequently, the police did not charge Kayanja, although the accused pastors continued waging a media war against him.

Ntwaatwa told the court that the three preachers held meetings and paid young people money to make false complaints to police to accuse Kayanja of sodomy. He insisted that he does not believe Kayanja sodomised anybody.

He said one of Kayanja’s alleged victims Robson Matovu met him (Ntwaatwa) outside the Sheraton Hotel in Kampala where Ntwaatwa and the accused pastors had just had a meeting.

Ntwaatwa told a fully packed court presided over by magistrate John Patrick Wekesa, “He (Matovu) told me I am broke and would do any thing to get money.”

Ntwaatwa said he helped the three to draw up a campaign code-named ‘Enough is Enough’, in which one of the aims was to petition President Yoweri Museveni and Uganda’s Parliament demanding a law to stop homosexuality. He said shortly afterwards, the anti homosexuality law was tabled in Parliament with a list of fake Kayanja victims of sodomy.

He said Matovu appeared vulnerable and that this was used by the accused preachers to make him claim that Kayanja had sodomised him, so that the pastors would frame Kayanja.

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