My News Africa

The Voice Of Africa


Ugandan LGBTQ activist plans to return home, despite fear of arrest


Ugandan LGBTQ activist plans to return home, despite fear of arrest

DeLovie Kwagala, a non-binary Ugandan LGBT activist using the pronoun ‘they,’ plans to return to their home country next week despite their fears of potential arrest. Currently residing in Johannesburg, South Africa since 2021, Kwagala’s visa is about to expire.


The recent passage of a new law by the Ugandan parliament threatens individuals with up to 20 years of imprisonment for “knowingly promoting homosexuality.” This bill is currently awaiting approval from President Yoweri Museveni. It is an amended version of a previous draft that sparked outcry from Western governments and human rights organizations.


Expressing their frustrations, Kwagala, speaking from their home in South Africa, stated, “It seems like they are well aware of the implications of the bill and the message it sends to society indirectly, labeling us as the moral corruption within the community. I simply grew weary of it all.”


Due to police threats against the activist last year, Kwagala had to abandon their plans to return home. However, despite the renewed danger, they are reluctant to seek asylum in South Africa, as they do not wish to become a refugee.


The new bill proposes “engaging in acts of homosexuality” as an offense punishable by life imprisonment, while repeat offenders could face the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.” It is worth noting that Uganda has not implemented capital punishment for many years.


Previously, an earlier version of the law criminalized the identification as gay, but it was sent back to parliament by President Museveni, who holds the power to veto it once again.


Although colonial laws initially criminalized homosexuality in Uganda, since gaining independence from Britain in 1962, there have been no convictions for consensual same-sex activity.

It is a challenging and precarious situation for Kwagala and other LGBTQ+ individuals in Uganda, where discrimination and persecution based on sexual orientation remain significant issues. The oppressive nature of the new bill, with its severe penalties and potential for abuse, further threatens the safety and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community.


International condemnation of the bill has been widespread, with many Western governments and human rights groups expressing concern over its implications for human rights and the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals. However, its fate ultimately rests in the hands of President Museveni, who has the power to either approve or veto the bill.


For Kwagala, the decision to return to Uganda, despite the risks, reflects their dedication to advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and challenging the oppressive laws and societal stigmas they face. It is a courageous act driven by the belief that change can be achieved through visibility, activism, and the power of individual stories.


While the fear of arrest and persecution looms, Kwagala’s determination to stand up for their community speaks volumes about their resilience and the collective strength of marginalized voices. They refuse to be silenced or forced into seeking asylum, reaffirming their right to exist and thrive in their own homeland.


As the world watches the developments in Uganda, the hope for progress and acceptance persists. The plight of Kwagala and other LGBTQ+ individuals serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for equal rights and the urgent need for global support in dismantling discriminatory laws and fostering inclusive societies.



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

My name is Ernest Arthur, a writer for MyNewsAfrica under the stage name Ernest East. I was born and raised in Dunkwa-On-Offin, a small town in the central Region of Ghana. As a journalist, I hold myself to high standards of accuracy, fairness, and integrity in my reporting. I'm committed to upholding the principles of journalism and to bringing transparency and truth to the news. Today, I stand tall as one of Ghana's most respected journalists, and I'm proud to have contributed to the growth and development of the country's media landscape. I'm excited about the future and can't wait to continue sharing stories and making a difference through my work. Email: Watsap:+233553678245