Mr Richard Tumushabe, the man who masqueraded as a woman before he was wedded by Imam Mohammed Mutumba in Islamic culture, (Nikah), has asked Ugandans not to judge him harshly for his actions.
Mr Tumushabe who was on Tuesday arraigned in court and charged with two counts of theft and committing an unnatural offence before he was remanded, said he was forced to start selling his body on Kampala streets after he found himself unemployed.
“I admit what I did was wrong. I offended my family and others concerned and I regret it. It wasn't my intention to hurt anyone but I was forced to do what I did because of the harsh conditions I've been going through. I didn't know it would attract that much attention,” Mr Tumushabe told journalists on Tuesday before the court proceedings.
He explained that when he and his friends arrived in Kampala in search of employment, they were forced to sleep on the streets.
“Some men would come with their cars at night and ask us to sleep with them in exchange for money. Some of us had no option because we were unemployed yet we needed the money,” he said.
Tumushabe’s claim is just another example of the struggles many young Ugandans go through to make ends meet in the face of increasing unemployment rate.
A fortnight ago, Sheikh Mutumba, the imam of Kyampisi Masjid Noor Mosque in Kayunga District, said he unknowingly wedded a man disguised as ‘Swabullah Nabukeera’ and spent two weeks with his “wife” unaware of the latter’s true gender.
The truth came out later after police arrested ‘Nabukeera’ on theft allegations and during a body search by a female police officer before being taken to the cells.
Appearing before the Kayunga Grade One Magistrate’s Court, Mr Tumushabe, 19, was charged with two counts of committing an unnatural offence contrary to Section 145 of the Penal Code Act and theft.
He is accused of stealing a television set and clothes worth Shs2.3m, property of Mr Eryazi Jimmy of Kyampisi Village in Kayunga Sub-county.