Trial of Ugandan Pastors over “Sodomy” Accusation Continues

News from Uganda, where the trial is underway of several pastors who stand accused of conspiring to injure the reputation of a rival minister with a false allegation of “sodomy” (although “male rape” would be be a better description of the details of the accusation). The pastors are Martin Ssempa (of “Eat Da Poo Poo” fame), Solomon Male, Michael David Kyazze, and Bob Kayira (some sources conflate the latter two into “Bob Kyazze”); their alleged victim is Robert Kayanja. This is a saga that has been on-going for some time; I wrote a blog post on the subject back in 2009.

According to the New Vision:

A prosecution witness on Wednesday told court that he betrayed Pastor Robert Kayanja by alleging that he had sodomised him, after one of Kayanja’s accusers promised him a lucrative music deal. 

Ivan Akansiima, 24, told Buganda Road Court Grade One Magistrate Patrick Wekesa that local musician David Mukalazi made him the offer.

This comes in the wake of another New Vision report, from earlier this month, which told us that:

ANOTHER medical report has exonerated Pastor Robert Kayanja over allegations of sodomy. 

This is according to the testimony of a prosecution witness in the case, where six people are being accused of tarnishing Kayanja’s reputation.

It has also been reported that the court has heard the claim that another member of the accused – a state employee named Deborah Anitah Kyomuhendo (or “Dorothy Kyomuhendo” in some reports) – had been “sent” by the First Lady, Janet Museveni; this claim had been reported back in January, and is somewhat mysterious. In 2009, the New Vision described Kyomuhendo as

the woman who reportedly took Kayanja’s accusers to the Criminal Investigations Directorate in Kibuli on April 6…

The Police, sources said, wanted to know her involvement in the saga, in addition to claims that she promised the boys money if they framed Kayanja. State House on Monday denied that Kyomuhendo was their employee. 

Back in 2007, one report claimed that Mrs Museveni had in fact “locked up” two boys who had accused Kayanja in a “safe house”, and that she had “tried to negotiate with Sempa not to bring shame on the born again Christians by exposing Kayanja.”

A city magistrate court previously acquitted Kayiira and Kyazze in January.

There is an international dimension to all this: Kayanja has links with Benny Hinn and Paul Crouch, while Ssempa and Mrs Museveni used to be allied with Rick Warren (although once this became controversial Warren distanced himself from the association). Such is the climate of hysteria around homosexuality in Uganda that in 2010 Hinn was himself accused of sex with Kayanja in the notorious Red Pepper newspaper.

(Name variation: Martin Sempa)