Martin Ssempa’s unreliable ex-gay witnesses

Gug recently commented on an article published by the New York Times about Martin Ssempa’s current campaign to have the anti-gay Bill become law in Uganda and the visit he made to meet the speaker of the Ugandan parliament, Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi.

Accompanying the coalition of religious leaders and civil society organizers were two ‘self-described former homosexuals’. “These young people,” Mr. Ssempa said, pointing toward the two young men, sitting stiffly across from him in front of the speaker, “will share their experiences having been recruited into homosexuality and coming out. And that is why we are here.”

Gug knows both of them well, their reputations and histories and habitual ability to lie.

Paul Kagaba

Paul Kagaba, 27, spoke first. He said: “For me, I was lured into homosexuality by a headmaster of a primary school, who recently died,” speaking of the recently killed Mr. Kato. “He was our neighbor,” Mr. Kagaba said, “and we embraced him.”

Mr. Kagaba said that Mr. Kato offered to pay his school fees, and soon Mr. Kagaba, 17 at the time, moved in. One day, Mr. Kagaba claimed, Mr. Kato bought him chicken and two Guinness beers, and raped him that night. The next morning, Mr. Kagaba says, Mr. Kato gave him $130.

Mr. Kagaba has said of himself that he became an outspoken gay activist for six years, until his family intervened and he met Mr. Ssempa. Now he says he counsels others at the pastor’s One Love clinic in downtown Kampala, where they preach sexual purity.

Gug comments that 130 USD in Uganda is a veritable load of money, almost 300,000 Ugandan shillings. That is the equivalent of two terms’ school fees for many Ugandan students. He doubts that David Kato had that amount of money. The 130 USD is frankly unbelievable in Uganda where people simply do not have that kind of money. As a comparison Gug says sex workers sell their services for 5,000 Uganda shillings, or 2 USD yet a school boy claims he was given 130 USD.

George or Georgina Oundo

The New York Times next reports to testimony of Mr. Oundo, 26, a transgender person who used to go by the name Georgina. “I used to call myself the Queen Mother and Lady of the City,” Mr. Oundo said. “I was recruited into homosexuality many years back, when I was 12. When I joined Mr. Ssempa, I told him all my problems,” he said. “I had to come out and join the struggle. “Please help us; let the bill pass,” he said.

The New York Times continues: But an hour later, in a quiet hotel, Mr. Oundo recanted much of what had been said at the meeting. “David Kato was murdered; it was a plot,” Mr. Oundo said. “I don’t support the bill.” As for being a “former homosexual,” that, too, was not true. “I’ve always been gay,” Mr. Oundo said, in a timid but growing voice. “I didn’t choose it.” “David Kato was the first one who taught me to protect my human right,” Mr. Oundo added. He said Uganda’s gay population was full of “natural-borns,” like himself. “If I live or die, I am gay, and if I am buried, bury me gay,” he said.

Mr. Oundo said that his presence alongside Mr. Ssempa at Parliament had been to “protect” himself and that he had been contacted only that morning by Mr. Kagaba about the meeting and offered about $42 to attend. He said Mr. Ssempa had offered him about $2,000 in 2009 to repent and switch sides in the debate, but later reneged. Either way, Mr. Oundo became a poster-child for Mr. Ssempa’s anti-homosexuality movement.

Gug says it’s totally believable that Georgina was lured to parliament, because he was going to be paid 42 USD which contrasts with the Ugandan belief that homosexuals have lots of money. Poor Georgina, really, poor Georgina, says Gug. Lying is part of the deal for him, lying repeatedly. It is partly a survival factor. Always having to lie that we are not gay becomes second nature.

Gug reminds us that Pastor Martin Ssempa is currently in court, accused of offering and giving money to some other men to accuse another prominent Pentecostal Pastor, Robert Kayanja. The very things that he accuses homosexuals of are the things that he does himself. But because he is a ‘man of god’, gays are treated as liars and Ssempa as pure as the driven snow.

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