By Paul Kiwuuwa
A man shocked parents on Sunday when he confessed to recruiting school children into homosexuality as part of a programme to promote the practice in Ugandan schools.
George Oundo said funders gave them â€œmuch moneyâ€ and training abroad and that he would target mostly the needy children who had problems of tuition and pocket money and â€œothers who like outings.â€
Oundo warned parents to know their childrenâ€™s friends. Homosexuals, he added, were targeting mostly children â€œbecause they are easy to initiate and they like easy thingsâ€.
Oundo said he got seriously involved in promoting homosexuality in 2003. â€œI was taken to Nairobi for training,â€ he said. â€œI used to supply pornographic materials in form of books and compact discs showing homosexuality to young boys in many schools,â€ he explained.
The training, he said, was facilitated by Gay and Lesbian Coalition. â€œI also got the pupilsâ€™ telephone contacts. We used to meet with both girls and boys in schools during ceremonial parties,â€ he asserted.
He said he only stopped his activities after becoming a Born-again Christian. He told all this to about 50 parents attending a seminar at Hotel Triangle, Kampala on Sunday. It was organised by Family Life Network, a local charity which promotes family values.
Oundo said he got saved at Pastor Martin Sempaâ€™s church, the Inter-Faith Rainbow Coalition against Homosexuality, based at Makerere University Kampala.
Oundo asserted that he had been a renown gay and lesbian activist for five years and had operated under the umbrella group, Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). He said he had taken on the female role and his name was Georgina.
â€œPraise God. Recently I realised that I have been victimising young people into devilish ways,â€ Oundo said. â€œI confess before the parents of the victimised children and they should forgive me.â€
He hoped to go back to his former school, Muyenga High (Jinja), where he recruited many students and repent.
He said he was initiated into the vice at 12 by friends like Victor Mukasa, a gay activist, after his parents separated and he was being raised by a single mother.
â€œI was brought up in a poor family. Lack of parental care, love and the loneliness may have led me to join gay activities,â€ he added.
Oundo said he experienced a transgender transition because he â€œwanted to be a womanâ€. â€œJust go to the Internet and Google the name Georgina and you will see how I have been defending gay activism,â€ he explained.
Oundo said homosexuality was spread by international human rights organisations. He said after he denounced the gay activities, he received threats from a gay activist who accused him of betrayal.
George â€˜Georginaâ€™ Oundo and another gay activist, â€œBrendaâ€ Kiiza, were arrested on September 10, 2008, for â€œrecruiting homosexualsâ€. But they were released on September 18, 2008 after their lawyer and the international human rights organisation, Human Rights Watch, protested.
In July 2005, local government officers raided the home of Juliet Victor Mukasa, the former chairperson of SMUG. They seized documents and arrested another lesbian activist. Mukasa sued for torture and court awarded her damages.
Gay rights activists have become more vocal in their campaign for recognition and have featured prominently at international conferences, particularly relating to HIV/AIDS.
Last year, education minister Namirembe Bitamazire announced an investigation into homosexuality in schools following complaints by MPs that the illegal activity was rampant in schools.
The Uganda AIDS Commission chief, Kihumuro Apuuli, also noted at the time that schools had become a breeding ground for the vice, which targets youth aged between 15 and 24. He said parents and guardians had a big responsibility to inculcate African values into their children.
Sodomy is a crime under the penal code and the Constitution prohibits â€œmarriage between persons of the same sexâ€.
Pastors of Pentecostal churches last week called for a commission of inquiry into allegations of sodomy and homosexuality in churches.
Other pastors yesterday told journalists in Kampala the war against sodomy would be long and challenging but must be fought.