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Health Ministry vows to discipline prominent medic for assaulting gay patient

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Health Ministry vows to discipline prominent medic for assaulting gay patient

Dr. Ben Kiwanuka Mukwaya

The Ministry of Health is seeking disciplinary measures to be taken against the proprietor of Mukwaya General hospital in Nsambya Dr. Ben Mukwaya for allegedly assaulting a gay patient who, it is alleged, was in a relationship with one of his daughters.

Homosexuality is outlawed in Uganda and anyone who is convicted of violating Section 145 (a) of the Penal Code Act faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Gay and Lesbian practices are also widely detested by Ugandan society.

Without revealing the identity of the medical officer and the health facility, the ministry confirmed that a patient was assaulted when she sought to buy spectacles from the a health facility, only to receive beatings from the doctor.

Our investigations, which has been confirmed by the Police reveals that the nasty incident happened at Mukwaya General Hospital, which is located about three kilometres from Kampala city centre opposite the American Embassy along Ggaba road.

Reports indicate that on learning about the sexual orientation of his patient Dr. Mukwaya asked one of his security personnel to bring him an iron bar which he allegedly used to clobber the hapless fellow.

The Deputy Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigire confirmed to The Sunrise that a case of assault had been opened against Dr. Mukwaya at Kabalagala police station and that detectives are soon forwarding the file to the Director of Public Prosecutions for trial.

The Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng confirmed in a statement released recently that her ministry had asked the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council to took into the matter. The council is expected to take disciplinary measures against Dr. Mukwaya.

“It is reported that on 19th October, 2019 the patient has visited the facility to seek consultation for an eye specialist for spectacles. It is alleged that after a short conversation the Doctor suspected that the patient being a family friend, could be an influence to some members of his household,” reads Dr. Aceng’s statement.

One American pro-gay website www.76crimes.com reported on the matter and claimed that a report by the Police surgeon had confirmed a skull for the unnamed gay patient. The website also reported that a separate x-ray had found that the patient sustained a dislocated arm.

The Sunrise has not been able to confirm the extent of assault, and waits for the matter to be brought to court.

Until his replacement early this year, Dr. Mukwaya served for many years as the Minister of Health in Buganda Kingdom administration, service that makes him a strong believer in tradition and Buganda norms including marriage / sex as an affair between a man and woman.

Assault causing bodily harm is a serious criminal offence which, under section 236 of the Penal Code Act can fetch up to five years imprisonment, if the defendant is convicted.
Dr. Aceng reiterated her ministry’s policy of providing equal treatment to all persons regardless of their sexual orientation, gender and tribe.

She said in a statement: “It is the policy of the ministry of health they all patients should be able to seek medical treatment without fear of discrimination, violence, personal vengeance or retaliation. We appeal to all healthcare providers and stakeholders to accord equal and appropriate treatment to all patients who present at the health facilities irrespective of their race, tribe or gender.”

Reports attributed to Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson Patrick Onyango indicate that there have been an increase in cases of assault against gays and lesbians around Kampala from members of the public.

Dr. Aceng is also reported to have come out recently to deny that the government had plans to introduce a new anti-gay bill.

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