Ugandan LGBT Organization SMUG Office Robbed and Vandalized during Xmas

By Melanie Nathan, Dec 28, 2012.

Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 10.27.29 PMSMUG, the LGBTI organization led by Frank Magishu, had its offices broken into and vandalized with almost all office property stolen during the Xmas holiday.

It is unknown at this time if the motivation behind the attack was homophobic persecution.  However given the anti-gay climate in Uganda and the fact that Ugandan House Speaker,  Rebecca Kadaga failed to deliver her promised “Kill the Gays Bill” in time for Xmas, the timing of this attack is quite ominous.

A member of staff entered the premises the day after Xmas and found the office in disarray with most property taken, including 5 Desk top computers – CPUs and Flat Screens, 1 water Dispenser, One gas cooker, One Gas cylinder, One refrigerator, One audio recorder, One spy pen, And other unidentified property.

A police file has been opened at Naalya Housing Estates police post  and statements were given by SMUG staff members. At the moment Police have started an investigation to see if they can trace the offenders.

The police with the help of SMUG lawyers, Human rights awareness and promotion Forum (HRAPF) , Protection desk Uganda and SMUG partners are still working around the clock with investigators to establish the cause of the break in.

Sexual Minorities Uganda  [SMUG] is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works towards achieving full legal and social equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people in Uganda. It is the umbrella organization of all homosexual organizations in Uganda.

SMUG was created as a coalition of LGBTI organizations in March 2004. SMUG, now a network, addresses Human Rights issues based on sexual orientation. SMUG is an integral part of the human rights advancement.

With all due respect to the ongoing investigation, it seems clear to me that the attack on SMUG office is in all probability no coincidental event.  It would seem someone did indeed want to deliver a Xmas gift to the LGBTI community.

If I were police I would head directly to the home of Martin Ssempa to investigate him and his cronies.  Pastor Martin Ssempa in his NBS verbal attack on a SMUG worker Pepe Onziema, where he gate crashed Pepe’s TV interview by walking onto the show directly after calling in twice with a massive barrage of verbal insults and his visibly threatening physical body language, would be my first suspect.  After the NBS show Ssempa suddenly started to follow Frank Mugisha and Pepe on Twitter where he continued his taunts.  I would not be surprised if Ssempa, known for his uncouth behavior and sleazy false accusations, organized the attack.  However I am sure Ugandan police will follow all leads.

Anyone with information leading to recovery of articles or information leading to a suspect is welcome to contact this Editor and your identity will be kept private [email protected]

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5 Comments on “Ugandan LGBT Organization SMUG Office Robbed and Vandalized during Xmas”

  1. Tracy December 28, 2012 at 7:55 PM #

    “Pastor Martin Ssempa”—> another run-of-the-mill religious thug. Think of the mafia, only worse because they claim to know and be acting according to the mind of their creator.

    Yeah, right…

    In their hearts, they know they’re common bullies.

    Melanie, is there going to be a fund set up to help replace the stolen items? Maybe a way to donate via Paypal?

    • Melanie Nathan December 28, 2012 at 9:23 PM #

      If you want to donate, please write to me at and I will steer you in the right direction. THANK YOU!!


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