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Activists speak out on Anti Gay Bill

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Uganda made headlines in 2009 when it introduced the anti-homosexuality bill that included a death sentence for gay sex. The country’s lawmakers passed a bill in 2014, but they replaced the death penalty clause with a proposal of life in prison.

Local and International activists against a background of criminalization of homosexuality directly and indirectly challenged Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill which was later annulled in August of 2014 by the country’s constitutional court on a technicality. Despite the annulment, leaders and the general population in Uganda have continuously become more and more strident, the general population is becoming more homophobic. A lot of sensitization has been conducted by LGBTI rights groups on this very topic, however, it’s been noted that this has hardly created any difference as the society is becoming even more unaccepting of homosexuality.

The Ugandan government’s plan to reintroduce a bill that could impose the death penalty for homosexuality is being met with defiance from the LGBTQ community.

Uganda’s Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo said on Oct. 10 that government planned to re-introduce an anti-homosexuality bill in parliament. His statement was widely reported and international donors to Uganda said they were monitoring the situation closely and stood by the rights of LGBT+ people.

A spokesperson for President Yoweri Museveni later denied the plan, saying that Uganda’s current penal law – which provides for up to life imprisonment for gay sex – was sufficient.

There has been reports of worrying trends of arrests and attacks on the Ugandan LGBTQ community. According to LGBT group Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a young gay man, Brian Wasswa, was bludgeoned to death at his home in Jinja.

Justine Balya at the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) says her organization has recorded three cases of murder on LGBT community members in a space of two months.

“We are concerned about the current political environment and homophobic comments being made by government personnel,” said Balya, referencing Lokodo’s announcement, as well as Ugandan Minister for Security Gen. Elly Tumwine’s claim that LGBTI people are connected to “terrorism.”

Godfrey Kawalya a Ugandan- UK based gay rights activist and one of the activists that challenged the 2014 anti-homosexuality bill says, ” What is happening to the Ugandan LGBT community is alarming. We condemn the increasing homophobic attacks on the community and call upon the public to know that we have the right to be who we are, we are your children, we are your sisters, we are your brothers, don’t preach hate but preach love, our lives matter”.

A gay Rwandan refugee was brutally beaten outside Gay Refugee Care NGO office in Kampala, while on Oct. 13, two transgender women were beaten when they were leaving a nightclub, campaigners said, sharing pictures of the victims’ bloodied faces on social media.

In a statement, the United Nations refugee agency in Uganda confirmed there was an assault on a Rwandan refugee but said they did not have the full information as the victim was still recovering from his injuries in hospital.

In a brief statement posted on her official statement, Winnie Byanyima wife to Dr. Kizza Besigye stated that it is criminal and cowardly to violently assault refugees adding that gay Ugandans have equal rights like all other Ugandans and that assaulting them is cruel and inhuman. She called for authorities to intervene and make sure gay rights are observed.

“True there are people whom the community got concerned (about) and reported to the police that there were a group of people who are staying in a house and they looked suspicious,” said Patrick Onyango, Kampala police spokesperson.

“Police went to the house and they are trying to find out if they are involved in any criminality or illegal activities,” he said, adding that police have asked the public to be vigilant.

Uganda is seen as one of the most difficult countries in Africa to be in a sexual minority with members of the LGBT+ community facing physical violence and harassment to prejudice in getting jobs, renting housing or seeking medical care.

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Celebrity Gossip

Jose Chameleone joins Bobi Wine’s NUP

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By Reporter

Singer Jose Chameleone and now mayoral hopeful has today announced joining a new political party NUP a year after initiation into the Democratic Party. Chameleone who has long preached joining the people’s side has made it official today at NUP headquarters in Kamwokya.

In his statement through his spokesperson he made it clear that while it was also his desire to join NUP, it was also the party’s intention to subscribe to NUP and as a member he could only oblige.

“Joseph Mayanja alias Jose Chameleone as a member of DP block does not defy his party policies and decisions. When DP block decided to join NUP he was obliged.” Stuart Kagoro speaking for Chameleone posted.

Jose Chameleone still eyes the mayoral seat even more vigorously than ever and as the elections get nearer he intends to intensify his awareness campaigns, he said.

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Marcus and Karitas; Nxt Radio’s “agemates” with an infectious chemistry

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By Reporter

Uganda’s undisputed Queen of Radio, Karitas Karisimbi, will be one of the very few entertainment personalities that will have some reasons to look back at the Coronavirus pandemic.

Ever since she started co-hosting Nxt Radio’s “Morning Zoo” alongside the fellow veteran Marcus Kwikiriza, Karitas has been on an upward spiral, with her crazy sense of homour.

In a sit-down discussion we had with her, she dished out on the gist;

“I’m officially starting my second month as the Morning Zoo co-host. I love the show; it is a mature place (is that a dig at Ronnie McVex, with whom she fought while they worked together on Nxt Radio’s Transit?). I jell well with Marcus because I’ve known him for a long time, and the fact that we’re agemates, work is more than fun. Its morning laughs and more jokes during those 4 morning hours. It’s one great way to start my day every day,” Karitas said of her transition from the evening drive show to the early morning show.

Nalongo, as she is popularly known, smilingly hinted that waking up early is a challenge she looks forward to conquering.

When Nxt Radio first announced the move to pair the Old Skool duo, there was excitement among Nxt Radio’s online fans that had occasionally demanded the duo. Its therefore likely that the move was provoked by audience feedback and brought to life by the General Manager, Marcus that it a good move to make mornings on radio more fun.

Karitas, just like Marcus, is an experienced media personality, mostly remembered for her hugely successful stint as host of the then-famous `Showtime Magazine’ on WBS TV in the early 2000s.

The past month the morning duo have spent together has provoked chemistry with a cocktail of humour and fun, a litmus test we are looking forward to taking after 100 days of the Morning Zoo with Marcu and Karitas. The innovation has been of a brain thinking outside the box. In the past 30 days, we noticed the duo hosting the show on Fridays’ from the luxurious Mestil Hotel amidst delicious breakfast snacks and suspected expensive “teas’ with Italian names.

The “Morning Zoo” has introduced what they have called “Fro-Back Fridays,” playing some of the best old school music to kickstart their audiences’ weekends, with different guest-DJs playing every week.

You can catch Marcus and Karitas on the “Morning Zoo” Monday to Friday from 6:00 to 10:00 am on Nxt Radio 106.1 FM, or StarTimes Channel 234 (this is part where you can watch the duo live on air). Alternatively, you can stream them LIVE via the Nxt Radio app or through nextradio.co.ug/live.

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Celebrity Gossip

Meet Beckie Johnz, a talent to reckon with

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By Reporter

Talented, Beautiful, Modest, these three words describe singer/songwriter Beckie Johnz perfectly. Born in Ethiopia and mostly grew up in Kenya and came to Australia in 2005 when she was 15 years old. In her early teens, Beckie grew up in a Christian family, whereby she went to church and was involved in a choir. Beckie looked up to her choir masters and even though she was shy as a child, this gave her the confidence to want to use her God given talent to pursue a career in the music industry. Beckie started singing at a very young age even though her family members weren’t supportive of her.

Up until when she arrived to Australia, Beckie always kept in the back of her mind that if she were to be presented the opportunity to pursue her passion that she would always take that chance.Growing up, Beckie has always been inspired by music legends such as Nyankol Mathiang Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, usher Raymond, Alicia Keys and Toni Braxton, Keysha cole as well as the Destiny childs. She says that “at a young age i used to sing while playing with my friends but as soon as I reached home I would stop because my cousins would make fun of me saying “you’re a girl you shouldn’t sing”. At the age of 13 Beckie started taking singing more serious, although she was a very shy child. Over the years she started to come out of her shell more by letting the music guide her. Johnz speaks alot on her insecurities as she grew up.

She experienced bullying from distant family members who put her down, furthermore affecting her self esteem. This experience is what eventually inspired Johnz to turn to music. Music became my therapy” states Johnz. It lifted me up and guided me through my painful and dark days, so this was my way of expressing myself”. Beckie studied music in high school without the knowledge of her mother,and over the years Beckie strengthened her vocal skills and paid her way through vocal coaching. Through her performances Beckie met with an artist and producer Marvelous under the label BMC that would work with her to present an awesome demo and help take her career to the next level. Through those musical relationships,Beckie was connected with the duo Mavelous B producer and recorded a mix tapes of “that could be us” by Maino and” nothin on you” by B.O.B ft Bruno Mars.

Beckie Johnz took a long break (5 years) from music due to personal issues that she was embarking on, however Beckie remembered how music made her feel and why she should continue to use her God given talent. She moved with her family to Melbourne, Australia in 2016 where the music is very versatile and undeniablely wide. She knew best to continue to do what lifted her soul up from the beginning ” I want to pave way for my young south Sudanese female up coming artists, who are afraid to rise up,simply because of the lack of support. I knew best to be a role model in the male dominant industry within our community. Beckie Johnz has released her first ever EP (Just the Beginning) and first music video now available on all music platforms. She is working on her first album date to be announced soon. Stay Tune!

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Socialite Jack Pemba in wedding preparations

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Jack Pemba and fiancée Zainab

Businessman and socialite Jackson Akim Pemba aka Jack Pemba is set to tie knot with his fiancée Zainab.

This comes in days after he took to his socials and shared pictures of him and his girlfriend having a good time. The two are also seen in pictures with prominent people like Prince Wasajja which was later rumored that they were having wedding meetings.

Meanwhile a lot of friends and family members have come out to wish them well including Desire Luzinda.This she did in a video she shared on her social media platforms.

“I really want to wish you well my dear friend Pemba. When you sent me pictures of you and Zainab, I got so excited to realize that you finally found someone who can fully make you happy. I am so proud of mama Zainab and I look forward to the big day. I appreciate you Pemba for being one true friend.” Desire said.

However ,real date for the two love birds to tie the knot is not yet clear. Pemba is described as one with a big heart generosity because of his philanthropic ways.

We will keep you posted

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