Emmanuel Nvule, a city socialite, is living in fear after learning that he is being hunted by the police over allegations that he is deeply involved in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) groups in Uganda.
According to sources, Nvule was among several gays who were arrested after the police raided Ram Bar in Kampala in November, where LGBT members were having fun.
It is said that following the raid at Ram Bar, many of the LGBT members who were arrested were severely tortured and only those who managed to bibe cops with between Shs150,000 and 100,000 managed to get police bond.
They were treated so harshly and those who didn’t have money were dumped in jail a source told this website.
We’ve further leant that Nvule managed to bribe his way to freedom after wetting the beaks of cops at Old Kampala Police.
He also had to part with Shs150,000 before his two other friends could be released.
However, Nvule reveals that he recently learnt of a plot to rearrest him recently, over allegations that he is actively involved in recruiting Ugandan youth into gay activities.
Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, told VOA that police raided the Ram Bar after receiving reports that patrons were smoking illegal drugs like opium and shisha.
Video footage from NTVUganda shows officers shouting at people to move out of the venue. The suspects are then herded and crammed into trucks before presumably being taken to the local police station.
We are charging them under the Tobacco Control Act,” said Onyango. “We have started the process of screening and recording statements from them.”
Activists, however, claim that the drug charges are a cover for targeted persecution of the already vulnerable LGBTIQ community. They also say that the venue, described as a safe space, is used to provide HIV and related health care services to LGBTIQ individuals.
“We don’t know what will happen next. I think we are still looking at the worst. I think its totally aimed at intimidation of the LGBT Community,” said Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda. “The police is coming up with trumped-up charges. I don’t think all 120 people were publicly smoking. So, we are waiting for court tomorrow and see what happens.”
Last month, also in Kampala, police arrested 16 LGBTIQ activists on homosexuality charges and forced them to undergo anal exams.
There has been a wave of violence and abuse against LGBTIQ people. This includes the beating of a lesbian by a doctor, and a mob attack on a Rwandan refugee, as well as four reported cases of murder, said to be motivated by homophobia and transphobia.