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Friday, 15 July 2011

Ugandan First Lady 'backed homophobic smear campaign' against rival of her favourite Pastor

Janet Museveni
By Paul Canning

The fanatical evangelical Christian First Lady of Uganda, Janet Museveni, has been named in a Ugandan court as a participant in a homophobic smear campaign.

Mrs Museveni was referred to in evidence as a backer of smear tactics using sodomy accusations against Robert Kayanja, a 'prosperity evangelist' Christian Pastor, TV star and younger brother of John Sentamu, the Anglican Archbishop of York. It is alleged to have been organised by three competing clerics - Martin Sempa, Solomon Male and Bob Kyazze.

Sempa, Male and Kyazze, their lawyers, Henry Ddungu and David Kaggwa, together with their agents David Mukalazi and a state house employee, Deborah Anitah Kyomuhendo, face charges of conspiring to injure Kayanja’s reputation. 

A witness, an orphan who is in the choir at Kayanja’s upmarket Church, the Miracle Centre Cathedral which has a capacity of 10,000 people, said he was told that the sodomy accusations against Kayanja were supported by “big people” in State House, including Mrs Museveni. An earlier court hearing named Kyomuhendo as being "sent by Janet Musceveni" to organise the smear with Mukalazi. Two witnesses said they were offered Sh50million (US$19,000) to tell the police that Kayanja had sodomised them.

One accusation had been that a boy was sodomised after a music competition in 2009 at Kayanja’s church. After his choir, won the competition, Kayanja supposedly drove him in a tinted car to an unknown Kampala hotel, under the guise of congratulating him. Instead, Kayanja sodomised him then called a medical doctor to stitch up his anus and to declare him insane and put him in Kampiringisa Health Centre for a month.

Museveni has had close ties with Ssempa - known internationally for his 'eat the poo poo' video - since the 1990s, including through joint work on HIV/Aids 'abstinence' focused campaigns funded with millions of dollars by the Bush White House.

Benny Hinn, a American 'prosperity evangelist' and faith healer who preaches at Kayanja's church, was accused of sodomising Kayanja in the notorious Red Pepper tabloid newspaper known for carrying Ssempa propaganda last year.

In 2009 Kayanja’s personal aide, Chris Muwonge, was allegedly kidnapped and tortured by armed men and held for five days. His captors allegedly wanted him to make a video statement accusing Kayenja of molesting young boys. Kayanja accused Kyazze of being behind that plot.

George Oundo, a notorious 'ex-gay' who appears to be in the pay of Ssempa, has previously accused Fr. Anthony Musaala, who runs a large Catholic youth Charismatic Renewal Movement in competition with Ssempa, of being gay.

The pro-gay Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, ex of the Church of Uganda, has been 'outed' in Red Pepper and falsely accused of being gay, allegedly by the Church of Uganda’s Archbishop Luke Orombi - any straight supporters of LGBT rights in Uganda are infact routinely 'outed' and accused of sodomy.

The power struggle among Uganda's most powerful evangelical Christian pastors, all with close organisational and financial connections with powerful America evangelical Christian churches, has become known as the 'Pastor Wars'.

Writes Kikonyogo Kivumbi in Behind the Mask:
"Many of the pastors are thought to have accumulated sudden wealth from their ministries and some observers feel they are unable to manage their success leading to in-fighting as the various pastors accuse each other of using witch-craft, human sacrifices and high energy electronic gadgets on their followers to produce 'miracles' and pull crowds to their churches."
Blogger Jim Burroway says that "public charges of sodomy are a common way to settle political and other scores in Uganda." He points out that if the 'kill the gays bill' becomes law it will mean that "no one will be safe, including straight people."

There have been reports that the bill will be revived during this Parliament.

Musceveni has backed the 'kill the gays bill' and has said that foreigners are bribing young Ugandans to become gay:
“In God’s word, homosexuality attracts a curse, but now people are engaging in it and saying they are created that way. It is for money… The devil is stoking fires to destroy our nation and those taking advantage are doing so because our people are poor.”
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