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MP Bahati in fear as cousin vanishes

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SCARED FOR HIS LIFE: MP Bahati 

By John Tugume & Ismail M. Ladu

Posted  Friday, December 25  2009 at  00:00

In Summary

Mr Bahati had in an October 29 letter requested the Minister of State for Internal Affairs, Mr Matia Kasaija, to provide him with personal security saying “since I moved the private Bill on Anti-Homosexuality, I have received threats against my life”.

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Kampala

Ndorwa West MP David Bahati, who has sparked a worldwide debate after tabling his Private Member’s Bill criminalising homosexuality, now fears for his life following the disappearance of his cousin and alleged death threats against him.

Mr Bahati says his cousin, Emmanuel Mabonga, working with Shore Associates, disappeared from their home in Upper Konge Makindye Division, a Kampala suburb, on Sunday.

Police alerted
“I reported the case at Central Police Station - Kampala but hopefully the boy is in safe hands,” Mr Bahati told Daily Monitor yesterday.
The Kampala Metropolitan CID boss, Mr Paul Kato, confirmed that Mr Bahati had reported the case but refused to delve into the details referring this reporter to the Police spokesperson.

Although Ms Judith Nabakooba was reportedly out of office, her deputy, Mr Henry Kalulu, told Daily Monitor: “We have circulated the message of the missing person to all our units across the country. We are carrying out inquiries and we want to appeal to anyone who knows of his whereabouts to report to us.”
Mr Bahati had in an October 29 letter requested the Minister of State for Internal Affairs, Mr Matia Kasaija, to provide him with personal security saying “since I moved the private Bill on Anti-Homosexuality, I have received threats against my life”.

Pressed to describe the kind of threats he was getting, Mr Bahati quoted one anonymous SMS saying: “You [Bahati] moved the Bill for the first reading but the second reading might be post-human.”

When contacted yesterday, Mr Kasaija said he was sorry for delaying to provide the special security and added that he would follow it up with his personal assistant whom he tasked to sort out the matter.
“I am terribly sorry, I must apologise to him for the delay,” Mr Kasaija said. “I am right now away for a short leave.”

Though he did not give the exact date as to when he will resume office and have the matter sorted out personally, the minister promised “swift action”, adding that special protection is a right that can be extended to any Ugandan who feels their life is being threatened.
Mr Bahati’s Bill suggests a death penalty for those convicted of aggravated homosexuality or imprisonment up to eight years.

President Museveni was recently reported to have told the US authorities that he would block the Bill but Mr Bahati said: “Those are mere speculations. We shall push on because we want to protect our children. Although we are dealing with a sophisticated issue, we shall not be intimidated as God is there to protect us.”

Several countries like US, Britain, Canada along with some international organisations have described the proposed law as discriminatory, threatening to withhold their aid to Uganda.

Religious leaders in the country under their umbrella body, the Uganda Joint Christian Council, on Wednesday moved to support the Bill but proposed that the capital punishment should be done away with if it is to become a law.