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Ugandan Lawmaker calls for Life Imprisonment of Homosexuals in Every African Country



In many African countries, it is illegal to be gay. 25 out of 53 African nations have passed laws that give varying degrees of prison sentences to people caught practicing homosexual acts. In Nigeria, a 14-year jail term is prescribed for convicted offenders under the Same Sex Marriage (prohibition) bill which was passed into law in 2011.

These laws have received mixed reactions from Africans across the continent. While some have lauded it in countries where they have been passed, others have said there are more important things to focus on and an individual’s sexuality should not be subject to scrutiny and punishment.

At the recent Pan African Parliament in Johannesburg on 9th October, 2012, the topic of imprisonment of homosexuals in Africa was again raised.

A Ugandan lawmaker, Atim Ogwal Cecilia Barbara called for the life imprisonment of all African gay people.

SABC reports her comments at the Parliament: “Africa must stand up. We must pass a resolution condemning homosexuality because it is not an African culture. We are not allowed to practice polygamy in other countries, why should we be forced to do what is not natural?”

Homosexuality which is already illegal under Uganda’s penal code, is highly stigmatized in Uganda. The country has one of the strictest Anti-Homosexuality Bill often called the “Kill the Gays bill”. It divides homosexual behavior into two categories: “aggravated homosexuality”, in which an offender would receive the death penalty, or “the offense of homosexuality” in which an offender would receive life imprisonment.

Although she failed to convince other lawmakers and her proposal was rejected, she once again brought to the fore, Africa’s standpoint against homosexuality.

As a continent, do you think we are treading on the right path with respect to enacting laws against homosexuality? Did the lawmaker go too far with her suggestion?

Please share your thoughts.

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Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. stephen okiror

    October 12, 2012 at 5:23 am

    Cecilia Ogwal Atim is an African girl and she grew in an African state just like any other African girls. She has heard of homosexuality when she is already an old woman. so she knows it is wrong and not acceptable in African setting and she is right.
    If children in your home beging behaving in amanner that is questionable, you have a right to reject and call for order.
    We have taken too much of western cultures enough is enough.
    Cecilia dont be shaken stand on what your good conscious tells you.

    • yve

      October 12, 2012 at 7:21 am

      ignorance = ignorance = ignorance! we always look for something to try to seperate us from the next person and put us on a higher pedestal. r homosexuals now the moral decrepit in our society today? the fathers dat sleep with their daughters nko? i don’t see any laws being enforced with such passion to protect us from such ‘unafrican’ things. i think this is all nonsense…on a continent where most of the leaders will sell their mother for money…where u’ll see gold plated rims parked next to the ghetto where ppl cant afford to eat…where ppl die daily from ridiculously curable disease… we r shouting about the moral decay brought by homosexuals! gimme a break abeg!

    • Mrs

      October 12, 2012 at 8:46 am

      God will bless you for giving a very sensible comment! You could not have said it better. I wish this other bigot will know and understand.

    • t

      October 12, 2012 at 8:28 am

      Err…madam pious, when you are offered a job/ business proposal that costs millions of Naira (or to exaggerate, dollars) and you find out the the person is homosexual, please tell him/her to the face..”No! we have accepted Western culture for too long. You should be sentenced to jail”. Rubbish! No, I do not like the concept of homosexuality but I work with some and though they are not my friends, some are the nicest people I have met in my life.

    • Mrs

      October 12, 2012 at 8:43 am

      I read your comment and I laugh….. You lot are too many bigot! If not senselessness, how can you think homosexuality is a western culture? Gosh….. This is what poor education gives us in this part of the world. It people like you who become a doctor and will not be able to draw the line between professionalism and religion but yet you have had sex with countless men before you got marry to your husband and that if you are married. What does the bible says about premarital sex? If we are going to be using the bible to condemn people who use to have same sex people has their partner, then we will need to use same for all and am sure none of us will be able to stand on this earth. The fact that don’t like same sex act doesn’t you should also lack education and understanding about human right and all other aspect. It sadden me when I see bigot like you trying to make all those holy foolishness about what Africa and what not Africa but yet you will still using wedding ring, order wedding dress and all other things like they are all Africa. Your government see in private room and plan for themselves and their family leaving critical issue unattended to. This should be your problem and not to con sexual adult having sex!!!! Did you get that word”con-sexual” if not, go figure it go darling. Just before you assume am gay, let me burst your assumption, am not gay. I’m happily married with two kid and I love human regardless of they sexual orientation. I will judge human based on their society contribution to society development and not their private room sex choice. u get that?

    • damian

      October 12, 2012 at 7:42 pm

      You and her are just another pair of ignorants… and guess what, you’re in the wrong world, walking backwards and thinking humanity is going to walk backwards with you… pitty!

    • damian

      October 12, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      You and her are just another pair of ignorants… and guess what, you’re in the wrong world, walking backwards and thinking humanity is going to walk backwards with you… pitty!

      I’m talking to you stephen okiror, and to this so called lawmaker. and by the way.. if Africa was still africa and had remained closed to the outside world, she probably would’ve been allowed to do anything but expressing her views in public… so change is good (for everyone)

  2. Rosy

    October 12, 2012 at 5:32 am

    I do not support homosexuality but at the same time i do no think that it should be criminalized. To me,jailing a gay person is the same as jailing an adulterer. Who people (consenting adults) chose to sleep with is their business. Yes,it is may be wrong according to our religions but making it a crime is not the answer. Sometimes i think people are very self-righteous when they call certain practices “un-African”. Its like we are the most moral people in the world. We steal from the poor and kill each other…we ain’t any better than those in the West. We are just conservative but not any better. We might not agree with how certain people live their lives but we have to treat them as human beings. Its a complicated issue. God loves the sinner but he hates sin. Ofcourse we should be concern about people trying to make homosexuality “cool” and normal because it shows a decay in our moral fabric but we should also look at “real crimes” like rape,murder,theft,corruption etc.

    • kiki

      October 12, 2012 at 10:22 am

      thank you rosy…..just my thought

  3. Hadassah

    October 12, 2012 at 6:06 am

    Not in any way condoning it, but seriously of all the problems we have in Africa, better yet let me speak for Nigeria”Putting an end to Homosexuality is Paramount”. Oh of course yes Homosexuality is not an African thing, Corruption in all forms and positions, Extreme poverty with no middle class,lack of basic infrastructure such as good roads,light, water etc,Selfish leaders that leave you wondering if there’s any brain in that skull of theirs despite having travelled around and see things function in foreign countries but come come back and refuse to emulate, education and health care system is a sad story, child labour amongst all the horrible things that Nigeria is riddled with is an AFRICAN thing. These listed ‘African Things’ carry no weight compared to eradicating or taking a united front against homosexuality.
    I’m convinced we are cursed with being governed and ruled by Callous/Evil people or they are just a bunch of clueless fools oblivious to the debilitating state of Nigeria. Hiss Seriously ‘Homosexuality?” I wonder how much it cost (monetary value or man power) to implement this rule and what other serious issue would have been alleviated with such determination.Longer Hisssss

  4. Rukky

    October 12, 2012 at 6:18 am

    LOOL, watched this on the news–she was so angry and touched in her defence for the criminalization of homosexuality. Look, whatever, okay, Uganda did not legalize homosexuality before so why is there so much noise about the proposed Homosexuality Act and its moral validity or lack thereof? There are bigger issues that need to be solved in Uganda and other African countries so I really don’t think this should be an issue for discussion anyways. If anything, Uganda should try and see to it that alleged homosexuals are not killed, as has been the case, based on their sexual orientation for this is in itself unlawful and highly immoral. If they want to criminalize homosexuality for the sake of having a safe and coherent society which shares common moral ethics–that’s fine. What is important is that people, both lovers and haters of homosexuality, are law abiding citizens.

  5. Sugabelly

    October 12, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Oh my God these Ugandan lawmakers need to go and jump in the Atlantic Ocean. What have homosexuals EVER done to them? You can’t make laws to improve your stupid backward country. Is Uganda a first world country yet? Do you have 100% education in Uganda yet? What about clean water? What about poverty and hunger? These lawmakers are so unbelievably stupid. Trying to use homosexuality to distract the populace from the real problems in the country.

    • sally

      October 12, 2012 at 10:01 am

      We did rather remain poor backward call it whatever u want but cultured My God Homosexuality is punishable yes it is! they should move to Europe or whatever otherwise they will be stoned to death Go Ogwal

    • rew

      October 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      Can you hear yourself? You are saying homosexualism is a sin, yet you are calling for gays to be stoned to death.I guess God approves of your murderous thinking. #hypocriteofthehighestorder

    • Mrs

      October 12, 2012 at 10:09 am

      U just said it all! And because majority of us are hypocrite, we follow their stupid suggestion even when they don’t give a dame about our living condition regardless of sexual orientation.

  6. -

    October 12, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Completely agree with sugabelly. It is so ridiculous. What happens between two consenting adults behind closed doors is their business.

  7. MyView

    October 12, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Her ugly face is enough to turn any man gay. Is her marriage in any way shape or form threatened by homosexuality? How about poverty in Africa? corruption, violence, people killing each other on video, women being raped every day on video? Has she and other lawmakers not seen these acts? what is the obssesion who homosexuals who are living their lives without hurting anyone.

  8. Iris

    October 12, 2012 at 10:30 am

    She won’t come out to talk about Africa uniting to try and eradicate sexual molestation, rape, child pornography, armed robbery, lack of energy water, or food, intertribal clashes, but she can run her mouth over this. None of those things are ‘unAfrican’, right? I mean, those ones are inherent in us so we can accept them. Abeg jo.

  9. JJ

    October 12, 2012 at 11:23 am

    She looks like the stressed version of Usher! These African thieves we have in power are funny. They are so dumb! This is what happens when you elect cave men into office. Is her husband playing around with one of dem boys? Why so much passion and drive when it comes to other people’s sexual orientation? I wish their black asses will focus on important issues instead of people’s love life and what is happening in other people’s bedrooms. Perverts!
    Provide basic amenities that even animals in these oyinbo countries are entitled to have. Create laws that protect women, babies, children, and the rest of the society. At least, some states in America give married folks the right to file suits against party responsible for the failure of their marriage, e.g the adulterer and or the adulterous spouse’s lover.
    The rate at which I hear and see married women suffer in marriages and there’s no law protecting them, I think that is one of the laws to implement. We need laws like these to empower women, the most oppressed group, because a lot of us do not know what we truly deserve. We would rather stay in non-existent marriages because we think God will deliver their husbands somehow or because we think it is O.K to be treated like sh*t.

  10. omoibo

    October 12, 2012 at 11:34 am

    This again goes to show how misplaced the priorities of African politician are. Sure, homosexuality is not an African culture & is frowned upon but does that warrant a jail term? There are more pressing issues facing Uganda & Africa as a whole and yet these African politician choose to focus on issues that in no way movies their countries forward. What does being gay have to do with inflation, unemployment, education, infrastructure, security, economy etc?

  11. carr

    October 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    mmh in Uganda rape is also punishable by lifeimprisonment but though most of the time the public deals with them rapists and by the time police arrives its a done deal,anyhow we all have a right to our opinions..if they dont want to die they should seek citizenship elsewhere,My God eiish!

  12. sally

    October 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Besides our Moral Culture,Our health budget in Uganda is already too tight with enouuugh diseases(ebola,dysentry,cholera,AIDS,nodding disease….u name it)we just cant afford them too,thats why they are encouraged to move else where or face the law!

    • yve

      October 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      omg! is this a serious comment???????????

    • Iris

      October 14, 2012 at 1:39 am

      Err… Sally, if this is really how you feel, maybe you should tell your government to restrict their recommendations to that part of the continent. Nigeria already has enough real problems to deal with. Better still, you and the rest of the bigots who have decided to play God and Ultimate Judge can go and form your own colony somewhere

  13. my two cents

    October 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I blame DSTV for all this nonsense. Oyinbo man says being gay is natural and all the ‘feel among’ people have jumped on the band wagon. Nobody wants to think anymore. Do you think this is the first time in human history that being gay was accepted? The best that will happen is that it will be a fad. Unfortunately, it might take a world war for the world to correct all the nonsense ideaologies that these Oyinbo people have taught everybody. In (at most) 50 years, something will wake us back into our senses. Homosexual ko, Animalsexual ni.

  14. rew

    October 12, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    It is such a shame that a continent as retrogressive as Africa is choosing to focus on what happens in the bedroom of two CONSENTING adults.Why is the same hate and venom not used to fight rapists, cultists and armed robbers?We have pastors, politicians and govt officials robbing us before our very eyes .We are still battling with the HIV epidemic, kids are dying from malaria every second . Some cities and towns do not have access to clean water and good education, yet we are concerned with homosexuals. Criminalizing a facet of the human sexuality is not only a violation of human rights but it will encourage public attacks of gays. Soon we will hear of mob lynchings and how they are stoning homosexuals to death . God save the dark continent.

  15. tbn

    October 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Abeg do we have 35 african nations or 53? Na wa for wrong information oh Adeola Adeyemo. Moving on, I dont know why there must be so much noise about people being gay. I dont think being gay hurts anyone. I believe that we should base our reactions on the consequences of a person’s actions on another person. As long as your being gay does not cause physical or psychological damage to another person, then i dont think it should be what we should be fighting seriously to punish. To think that there are real and damaging evils in our society which they have not thought of dealing with and eradicating, like child molestation, domestic abuse and so many other ills, which have far reaching damaging effects on the victims and we have not come out to strongly condemn and impose stricter punishment on their perpetrators, but its the gays that people want to kill and imprison for life. If you imprison them for life will it stop them from being gay? They will definitely continue in prison and as a matter of fact initiate the straight guys they are with in prison. Let us deal with more pressing and important issues please and let this gay issue rest for now at least. FYI I am not gay, and I dont pray that any of my kids be gay.

    • Adeola Adeyemo

      October 12, 2012 at 5:51 pm

      @tbn Thank you for pointing out the error. The correction has been made.

  16. Winifred

    October 12, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Ugandans,una no get work Abeg!chrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  17. jennietobbie

    October 12, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Most people here are educated. Ignorance should be criminalized. I swear. So, homosexuality made headline at the Pan African Parliament but no one is talking about the evil deeds we’ve lived with all our lives—RAPE, ADULTERY, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, POOR HEALTH CARE, ZERO EDUCATION, EPILEPTIC ELECTRICAL POWER…oh wait!! We always love to be part of the 1%—straight and always doing God’s will. smh. Well here is another NEWSFLASH: God is not stupid, WE ARE!!!! Hypocrites!!!

  18. jennietobbie

    October 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm


  19. Naveah

    October 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I wonder if her opinions would still be the same if her daughter or son affirms their homosexuality? It is easy to send other people’s children to the gallows but when it hits home, the feelings are bound to change. Moral decay has ALWAYS existed in our communities – what about incest? child molestation? prostitution? watching/creating pornography? drunkeness? drugs? menage a trois/orgies? Did these vices not live right along side homosexuality in our communities? I dare say each one did and is still striving strong in Africa so what is it about homosexuality that guarantees a one way ticket to hell more so that the rest? You cannot section out which sin is endurable and which one is not! If this is a personal battle for her then she should keep it personal and stop imposing her views on all Africans better yet, restrict it to her part of Africa and leave other countries to practice the tolerance and humanity that has worked for them because guess what those homosexualities contribute to the society by working hard, paying their taxes, employing people to work in their businesses, saving lives as doctors, nurses, educating the country as teachers and professors, building roads and bridges as engineers, contractors, bricklayers, making laws in goverment, defending the wrongly accused etc etc etc.

    If you are having sex outside of marriage, you are right up there with homosexuals because a sin is a sin. Do you lie? Cheat on your wife/husband? While you are pointing a finger at another person, four more are pointing back at you.

    Am I enamored by the lifestyle, no but how does that affect my personal life and development? It doesn’t! You know what affects my life and that of my family? Lying, Cheating, Thieving Politicians who cannot seem to make decisions for the benefit of the constituents that voted them into office. I don’t care what man is having sex with which man OR what woman is having sex with what woman as long as they are decent human beings let God worry about them. I need to worry about where I would take my father if he needed specialized care in a country like mine (Nigeria) where if you don’t have cash, they put you on the streets because they skipped the reading of Hippocratic code during the conferring of medical degrees, I need to worry about maintaining my car because the roads are rachet, I need to worry about my car getting jacked because young men and women don’t have jobs and robbery is their last resort, I need to worry about money to buy feul/kerosene in a supposedly oil rich country, I worry that the generator might one day set the house on fire we are still using power grids from the British era and so we can’t have light for a week straight.

    See these are the things that concern me for all of Africa NOT who is sleeping with who at the end of the day.

    Madam Atim should pay attention to all the money IMF is loaning African countries so that these Americans, French, British, German, Russian countries can use that as excuse to still rip our continents of it’s resources because we can’t seem to be able to pay back our loans and our thieving politicians can keep looting the treasury. Worry about infanticide and high mortality rates in Madagascar! Worry about young girls being married off to older men in Namibia where so many girls are suffering vesicovaginal fistula (VVF)…concern yourself with the treatment of the mentally ill, handicapped and disabled children who don’t have access to treatment for their Asperger syndrom or autism etc.

    • rew

      October 13, 2012 at 3:42 am


  20. Anon

    October 13, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Ugandans get thi passionate because of how HIV/AIDS was high in their country years ago. The interesting part is, they actually pushed abstinence that every ugandan should practice it instead of having sex outside of marriage, and now HIV/AIDS reduced in their country. My point is, Ugandans are very strong opinionated about certain things in their country, and I believe they have every right to have their own law. So, they strongly and passionately oppose certain things, and it’s their country, they should do whatever they feel like it’s right for them. All these Africans or whites rooting for gays in Africa, are they ready for the consequences? We all know, sex between a man and another man or a man who sleeps with both is the fastest way to spread HIV virus. HIV is at its highest here among Black Americans, and many are in denial and some who know spend thousands to get treatment or don’t have the money. So, they just die. I don’t think imprisonment is the best solution but there definitely has to be strong rules to prevent this from becoming a norm in Africa like how it is here in the U.S.

  21. Mary

    October 14, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Haba Africans think. Just stop the argument and think. ‘ African leaders are corrupt, they will not concentrate on useful things, bla bla bla’. My dears, the truth is the westerners will ever allow us concentrate on useful things. Why have they not held our leaders accountable for all the unemployment and bastardized economy, stinking health systems and our useless education sector? Why not stop giving aid to Africa to make sure our leaders grow our economy with the aid given? Well, Walter Rodney said they (westerners) under deveoped Africa and sadly they r stil doing same. Our economy being bastardized by our thiefing leaders will never bother them because let’s face it, they don’t want us to rise above this level. Imagine stopping the aid to Africa because of homosexuality? Like seriously? Why not stop aid to Africa because of our corrupt leaders who are pocketing the aid? They sanction Iran for nuclear enrinchment and stop aid to Africa cause of their belive system….oh please *talk to the hands* African emancipate yourselves from mental slavery

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