In 2005, local council leaders went to the house of one of the LGBTI leaders in Uganda, Victor Julie Mukasa. The house was searched, his companion arrested, and was given a 'genital check' at the local police, in order to ascertain that the companion was a lady and not a man!
Such abuses happen frequently here. See a Trans in Uganda.
But this time, despite the fact that it would take a lot of time and money and effort, Victor dragged the state to court. And yesterday, the court case was won. A victory for the whole of the kuchu community.
LGBT Ugandans are also Ugandans. The constitution protects them from arbitrary search and arrest, just because they are suspected to be homosexuals. That was the opinion of the justice.
Most Ugandans take it for granted that kuchus are not worth justice. During the court case, Ssempa used to lead members of his church to the court. They would put on T-shirts with such things as 'Homosexuality is a sin' and 'Anal sex is abominable or disgusting. etc. The case concerned a Ugandan whose basic rights were violated because of someones assumption that they were gay. And, here was Ssempa leading members of his church to show his support of the state's action. I thought he was stupid. But then, with that particular gentleman, I have that bias...
He was not at the court on Monday, but I think he did get the news... It was on all the TV stations. Imagine, homosexuals had won a case in Ugandan courts!!! Horror of horrors. Will he comment? Bet some journalist will ask for his opinion. And of course Nsaba Buturo's!
But in the meanwhile, a precedent has been set.
Thanks Victor. I know it has been a long journey. Congratulation to all Kuchus!
Sokari has a more complete report here. Accurate, at least more accurate than this update... which is how it has been reported in the media here.
The High Court in
Ivan Oyo and Victor Mukasa, both members of the Coalition of Gay Rights petitioned the court after allegedly being roughed up and beaten by police in
Through their lawyers, Rwakafuzi and company advocates, the lesbians said they had been tortured and their rights abused, contrary to constitutional guarantees against torture of any citizen.
Justice Stella Arac who heard the historic case ruled on Monday that the rights of duo were grossly abused and they should be compensated by the state.
The Judge said the petitioners had proved beyond reasonable doubt that their rights were grossly violated by the police officers contrary to the constitution of
The two ladies were arrested by police in a
Justice Arac ordered the government to pay Victor Mukasa 3million shillings for the humiliation and destruction of her property, and to pay Oyo 10-million shillings as damages for the torture and humiliation she was subjected to by the police.
The petitioners’ lawyer, Ladislus Rwakafuzi was ecstatic about the court ruling saying the court had proved that the rights and freedoms that the constitution gives to Ugandans are enjoyable by every Ugandan, whether a homosexual or not.
A group homosexuals yesterday turned up to witness the court ruling and left overjoyed by the judge’s pronouncements. But the Uganda Penal Code Act still outlaws any sexual union between people of the same sex, and most public opinion is strongly against homosexual rights largely seen as foreign. However, this court victory is expected to give sexual minorities in