Saturday, August 1, 2009

Pastor Martin Ssempa

Disclaimer: I don’t like the guy. I dislike him, intensely. You see, I am a gay Ugandan. He is a Ugandan who has made it his life mission to be anti-gay, and use all his skill and gifts to persecute me.

So I am hardly likely to write any good of him.

Yet, in a funny way, I think this is a story to be written, for posterity. For a different view of the man, Martin, check out his website. And he does have a blog... Also, some people positively swoon to praise him. Check this out; the Martin Ssempa News blog. I think that is enough...!

Last night, after listening to this talk show, I was very thoughtful. Whenever Ssempa speaks, I am struck by his character. It is kind of abrasive, and out there. Like a chess player who, after some time knows his opponent, I seem to be able to predict what he will say and do in certain circumstances. So, why not put down my surmises on a sheet of paper? And post it out there? Premise is that, because I dislike what he does, I don’t think I am so off in an analysis of his character.

I am a gay man living and working in Uganda. I got to notice Pastor Ssempa years and years ago, brought to my attention by his virulent anti-gay message. Way before most Ugandans believed that there were gay Ugandans, Ssempa was out there preaching an anti-gay message, albeit it was falling on deaf ears.

Who is Ssempa?

The pastor and founder of Makerere University Community Church,.. or something like that. Church for students at Makerere University. His is a youth church, or targeted at youths. Nationally, he has come to the attention of many because of his (meddling) in HIV prevention. He campaigned for HIV prevention on moral grounds. A back to morals message. So, for youths abstinence till marriage. And being faithful in marriage. Nothing more than that. Condoms were a no no. He preached against them, as imperfect. He burnt them once in church. And, with considerable political skill, he insinuated himself into the confidences of the First Lady, another Abstinence campaigner. And he believes, or at least he says, that it is this message which is credited with the fall in prevalence of HIV in Uganda. Check out his testimony before the US Congress here.

Physically, he is of average height (bah, Ugandans are short!). Light skinned, he is starting to lose his trim build and is getting a confortable, smooth skinned mid-age spread. Good feeding. He is married (to a white woman), and has two or three kids from previous, err, liaisons. He tends to have a variable accent (depending on the audience). He speaks Ugandanese usually, but, when he wants to impress, the accent becomes distinctly American. And with youths, the hip crowd, it is gangsta American.

That is enough of an introduction, isn’t it? This is supposed to be dirty and nasty, don’t know why am going so soft on the man. Too analytic? Well, I know I don’t know too much about him, but from an intense scrutiny of his public profile.

Ssempa is a charismatic preacher. He has this connection with his audience, especially youths and can inspire them to huge dreams. And they do like him. He is a person that our ‘hip’ crowd aspires to be like. When he speaks, they listen. And they listen hard. They believe in him. Yet there is a disconnect.

Older people seem not to warm to him.

I believe this is because he is a conman, and it is easy to see through him. Too easily, and that limits his charisma. Talk to any older person, and they see a self serving, populist and political stuntsman. And, the funny thing is that he is all of these things. Some of the things which define him include these. (Remember, my perception of the man is not likely to endear me to him. Bite me, I don’t intend to be blind to my own limitations.)

He is intensely anti-homosexual.

Why is this? I don’t know. He is obsessed with homosexuality. The fascination and drive to do something about homosexuality defines his life like no other thing. Long before it was an issue in Uganda, Ssempa was preaching an anti-gay message. He has repeatedly sought to make it the driving, core message of the church as a whole. His passion, his obsession is anti-homosexuality. Anyone who opposes this message, who dares to ask for moderation, is against him. Anyone who listens, should support him. The feeling, and faith is irrational, and intense. He sees no problem calling himself an anti-gay HIV activist, who advocates no prevention program for homosexuals. Sometimes I wonder, why does he hate us so much? I don’t know the answer to that question, but it may be a key to a lot of what he is.

In his belief system, there is absolutely nothing that a gay human being is good for. And there is no war, or crusade more important than the fight against homosexuality. And it is important that ALL the church recognizes and follows this crusade. It is bigger than the church, it is a national, an International problem. He tells lies about homosexuals, in the name of the cause. He advocates violence against homosexuals. Yes, he does. I stood near him as he egged members of his church on while police threatened to beat up gay activists at the People’s Space during CHOGM. He has spun conspiracy theories which I doubt he believes, but he preaches as truth.

He is shallow.

Fact. I have said that the guy is stupid. Maybe it is a strong word, too strong. But he doesn’t seem to be well acquinted with logic. Simple, believable logic. I know he is supposed to have an MSc, and a PhD. But I have a suspicion they are the kind Notredame awarded and UNM refused to award to Obama. Honorary. And, yes, they are from American Universities. In anyway, he isn’t a stellar example of any university…! Ok, if you don’t believe me, remember this. Despite the many things that he brought back from America where he was from some time (including the accent), this guy had the hypocrisy to blast Ugandans in the diaspora who came back with changed perceptions of their world. Yes, here it is. And there are innumerable examples of his selective perception and logic.

Ssempa is a populist.

And a politician. The charisma, the out-spokenness, the militancy. When South Africa legalized gay marriage, he led a demo of his church youths to their embassy. And threatened a boycott of South African goods. He is connected to the First lady- the Abstinence campaigns. When he talks, campaigns, etc, one gets the sense of a politician on the move. A Lukyamuzi... Rather than a church man. But that is not an absolute difference, is it? A churchman can be a politician.

Does Ssempa believe in the Christian god?

I am sorry, of course that comes off too strong. He is a Pentecostal movement pastor, so of course he must believe? But I was once a believer. And I did believe. Fact is, Ssempa seems to be more into his moral ideals and programmes than into preaching the ‘Word of God’. When he talks, like with most evangelizing Christians, the issue is accepting their point of view. But there is a big difference with Ssempa. Most other evangelizing Christians want you to accept and believe in their version of god. Listen to Ssempa talk, and you will understand that the most important thing is not that you believe in Christ. No. The most important thing that you believe how bad homosexuals are. The most important thing is that you believe that Abstinence and being faithful are the way forward in HIV prevention. In the background is Ssempa the man. And, lip service is given to ‘loving homosexuals’. And Christ comes off a distant nth place.

Case in point, is the Kayanja saga. The gay witch-hunt in the Pentecostal churches in Uganda. Any Ugandan will scratch their heads on learning that Ssempa is making an anti-homosexual coalition WITH Moslem leaders in the country. Traditionally, in Uganda, these groups have hated each other, are always in a state of civil war. Especially with the militant Tabliq sect. But Ssempa makes war with his own, and treats with the Moslems… in the name of the anti-gay agenda. So, does he realy believe in Christ? Personally, I don’t know. And of course I am biased.

Ssempa is positively combative.

He goes out of his way to look for 'enemies'. Definition, anyone who believes differently from him. I was suprised, and not suprised by his personal attack on Major Rubaramira. Surely, surely, a person who is not HIV positive would not attack another one who is like that? But that is the man, Ssempa. He glories in taking on 'heavy weights'. No, homosexuals tend to be minors, which begs the question why we came to be so much in his gun sights. But from Pastor Kayanja through attacking USAID and PSI for marketing condoms, his is a fundamentalist view. There is no middle ground. Either you are with him, or you are not. And if you are not, then beware. You are apostate. A homosexual, or a homosexual sympathiser. One of his beefs about Kayanja was that he had never gone to Ssempa's demonstrations against homosexuality. Sometimes I wonder why this need for outrageous statements....! Another Lukyamuzi characteristic.

So, why have I written this?

Sometimes, life’s a chess game. I am bearding the lion, in his den. I can guess what he would try to do in the face of my epistle. Thing is, will he do it? Oh, I know he is petty and vindictive. His question to Major Rubaramira was full of that core spite.



AfroGay said...

I have taken the trouble to read through "his" blog. Martin Ssempa has recruited a 24-year-old young man to trawl around for friendly articles, readers' letters etc and post them, slap bang, on to the blog.

Like everything else about Ssempa the man, even the blog is a cynical pretense at doing something productive. In reality, there is nothing of Ssempa in the blog. But is there any substance in anything Ssempa has done that we know about?

Daudi said...

"Know of Afriboyz? Kenyan connections there. Bet you he would be willing to bridge the gap. And well."

You left this comment on Kenyan blog? What does it mean about Afriboyz, I don't understand. I'd really appreciate the explanation.

Nations' Conqueror said...

I'm Madly in Love with martin Ssempa!! He is himself!! more so not HOMOSEXUAL!! I love that.. He has encouraged me many times. but you and your homo-sexual propaganda in Uganda, Burundi and Africa... you're the most HATEFUL person. fervently against HUMANITY.
be a human rights activist like I'm.. I promote humanity!!!! but you promote human extinction.

syy said...


gayuganda is obssessed with PASTOR SSEMPA HUH.....HUH ANYBODY KNOWS WHY?????

gayuganda said...

Afrogay, yeah, yeah...!

Daudi, I have seen the question.

News Blog, you are welcome.

Nations Conqueror... Wow, what a monica! Yeah, I know you are in love with the Man. That is why I linked to your blog Martin Ssempa news, I would also have linked to Prime time @ the pool. But seems as if you are not keeping that one up...! You are a human rights activist, and I promote human extinction? Shame upon you, Christian. Gay Rights are not human rights?

Huh Syy,
Actually, you dont need to shout it out. I am fully aware of that obsession.
Actually, I wouldnt care anything if Ssempa didnt persue me so thoroughly. The man is obsessed with my sexuality. Why? I dont know. If I ask him to let me alone, will he? Do you think he will?

Of course gug is obsessed with Ssempa. Reason, Ssempa has an unhealthy obsession with gayuganda's sexuality.

By the way, mindful of the log in my eye, I tried to be as objective as possible. I am inviting you to be, too. And answer some of the questions I ask.


Anonymous said...

what is ssempa and what is martin?

people dont know ssempa but to me i can tell side of him , you gays just celebrate your sexuality you cant copy ssempas sexuality ,

some times i ask my self why does ssmpa bother himself to fight homosexuality? people fight what is big to their thinking homosexuality is beyond the thinkig of ssempa , he is killer and a film actor on what he thinks he wants to make it good to all what is good to ssempa is not good to me, does he want all people to think the way he thinks i pity ssempa the man who doesnt resson well on sexuality let him just accept that at one time he did homosexuality and now he tries to fight what he did at first the same with georgina the one call him self oundo george ssempa dont decieve georgina let her be what she is and we are waiting for him back home one day she will be back and we shall welcome her back , that girl we miss her

spiralx said...

I think we're all more or less aware that Martin 'Septacaemia' is a self-hating poof.

Just a shame his self-loathing is being picked up by the bigots and turned into self-serving political propaganda...

Anonymous said...

ssempa go and kill you self before you get old , you are so stupid and luck of wisdom in matters concering sexuality which is a toll to you self relisation , please come on bord you are a homosexual i think you that ,

why is it that you fight what doesnt fight you? ssempa you are doomed and you will die you killer of Gods love are you the only one with the love of christ you hypocrite,

think but hell is wating for you and heven is for me a ugandan gay and happy transgender

spiralx said...


I guess that's him well 'n truly told, then...!

Robert Grace Kisenyi said...

All Homosexuals are transgressors who need a mental rehabilitation. How dare even ask for rights-rights 2 sodomie; transgress. They are criminals and anti-family and anti-life.If mosquitoes even have more sanity compared to Homosexuals; a male mosquito can never mate a male and same applies to female.

It's embarassing that that they can even speak in public-how can theives demand rights to steal.

Shame on you Homosexuals-bravo Pr.Martin Ssempa-go on,the Lord is your side.

Homosexuals unless you repent you will burn!
Turn to Jesus en He will rescue from your wild passions-how can you exchange an excretory organ for a sexual activity.Let me remind you homos, the anus is one way-no provision is given for entry. So stop your self destructive habits.

gayuganda said...

Dear Robert Grace,

What a starling example of Christianity you are!

Anonymous said...


gayuganda said...

ha anon....!~

Course we are complex.. Why should we be simplistic.

Your Jesus was definitely inclusive. Saw 'sinners' like Magdalene as worthy of saving as righteuos people like Paul of Tarsus... So dont know what you mean by what you said.

watoto said...

Balugiire R

I am so embarrassed by the the dirty mouths by which homosexuals are responding to pastor ssempa.What a shame that you ask for love yet you speak with arrogance,defamation and contempt.This simply confirms my belief that homosexuals have a schizophrenic mental disorder that needs urgent attantion.
How can someone be proud of being an anal leaker,doing one of the dirtiest things that even a pig can not do.The one reasin for the destruction of sodom and "Gaymorah" once nothing less than the barberic practice of homosexaulity.Many of you Africans in homosexuality are working under sycophancy imposed on you by the westen world powers because of donations.Let the whole world know it that i would rather die poor than being a pervert who takes by anus for a sexual organ yet it is meant for excretory purposes.Never go for duplicates.Go for the real thing of heterosexuality.Don't mistake an exhaust pipe for a fuel tank.
Thumbs up for Pr Ssempa for he is the real man .Mind you.Gor those of you that think when Ssempa is away you will be safe,you are wrong.There is a whole "platoon and battalion" of an anti homosexuality force that will carry n the fight.So you not saf3 either way.Just turn to Christ and recieve forgiveness.

gayuganda said...

Hi Balugiire,

we are very bad, arent we? WE agree... I mean, you know us as very bad, what can change your mind?

Your god condemns us to fire and brimstone, and you follow faithfully in that. So, what can we do, poor sinners as we are? We shall be condemned. We shall be as we are....

Thanks be to the gods that all Christians do not believe us as god forsaken as you do. Which is a challenge, why dont they? But can I hope for you to understand this?

Christ help you with an understanding of what true love is....!

Anonymous said...

Ssempa should read the life of Christ. Single Male, 32 year old, constantley in the company of 12 other Males. The only Female being a prostitute. Sounds very Gay to me. Why don't we hear about Mrs. God anyway. Perhaps God is Gay as well, now that would be the ultimate surprise would it not!

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