Police are investigating a case in which a male student of Makerere University School of Law is accused of sending love messages to another male student of the same university.
The case was reported at Mbalala police in Mukono District by Mr Karungi Lawrence, a third year student of Bachelor of Commerce.
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Mr Patrick Onyango said Mr Karungi reported to detectives that when he visited a friend in one of the hostels near Makerere University, he found there the suspect with whom they exchanged phone contacts.
“He did not know that he (suspect) was interested in him. So, he (suspect) started sending him love messages, seducing him on WhatsApp. Since he is a straight guy, he did not bother but he continued sending his love messages which annoyed Karungi before he went to Mbalala Police station to report him,” Mr Onyango said in a telephone interview with this publication on July 27.
Mr Karungi submitted to police all the WhatsApp messages that the suspect had been sending to him. Police said the messages will help them in their ongoing investigation.
“We are yet to summon the suspect to record his statement. We are going to submit the messages and the suspect’s phone to our ICT experts for analysis,” Mr Onyango added.
Mr Karungi told this publication that he opened up the case on July 22 at Mbalala police station because of his (suspect’s) “sexual harassment and persistence.”
“He was sending me weird messages, including pictures of gay people. Also telling me that he can give me money. I wasn’t interested and I told him to stop. He persisted sending messages and I had to take a serious step,” Mr Karungi said.
When contacted, the suspect said he doesn’t know the complainant.
“These are just smear campaigns and moves by anti -gay campaigners and the government against my work as a human right defender,”he said.
University speaks out
Dr Euzobia Mugisha Baine, the head of Gender Mainstreaming Directorate at Makerere University said, “I have ever received a verbal complaint from a male student. He could not even give me his identity. I have also heard about a male lecturer from one of the schools who sexually harasses male students. But we have never got any formal complaint of a homosexual or lesbian nature.”
According to Dr Mugisha, such cases are handled within the framework of curbing sexual misconduct in the sexual harassment policy.
She said such cases are rarely reported due to the stigma and the genuine retaliation from the powerful perpetrators.
Homosexual acts are already illegal in Uganda but now anyone convicted faces life imprisonment.
President Museveni in May this year signed a bill criminalizing same sex conduct, including potentially the death penalty for those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality,” into law.
The law imposes the death penalty for aggravated cases, such as having gay sex with someone below the age of 18 or where the victim is infected with a life-long illness like HIV/Aids.
Source: Daily Monitor