Uganda: Imam's Fake Bride Charged With Unnatural Offence, Theft

15 January 2020

Mr Richard Tumushabe, the man who masqueraded as a woman and was wedded by Imam Mohammed Mutumba in Islamic culture, (Nikah), yesterday appeared before court and was charged with two counts of theft and committing an unnatural offence.

A fortnight ago, Sheikh Mutumba, the Imam of Kyampisi Masjid Noor Mosque in Kayunga District, said he unknowingly wedded a man disguised as 'Swabullah Nabukeera' and spent two weeks with his "wife" unaware of the latter's true gender.

The truth came out later after police arrested 'Nabukeera' on theft allegations and during a body search by a female police officer before being taken to the cells.

Appearing before the Kayunga Grade One Magistrate's Court, Mr Tumushabe, 19, was charged with two counts of committing an unnatural offence contrary to Section 145 of the Penal Code Act and theft.

The suspect was charged with theft of a television set and clothes worth Shs2.3m, property of Mr Eryazi Jimmy of Kyampisi Village in Kayunga Sub-county.

Remanded

The Kayunga Grade One Magistrate, Ms Allen Akello barred Tumushabe from taking any plea since his case could only be heard by the High Court.

Mr Tumushabe was remanded to Ntenjeru prison until January 24 when he will be brought back for hearing of his case.

The magistrate advised that the suspect was free to apply for bail.

None of his relatives was in court apart from two unnamed private lawyers, who engaged him before the court session.

Sheikh Mutumba was also not in court.

"It is true I did something wrong and I regret it but my current condition forced me to do it. I'm a born of Ishaka but I grew up on Kampala streets under very harsh conditions that forced me to act the way I did and I regret it," Mr Tumushabe said before entering the courtroom.

Court officials described his case as very interesting and rare.

Sheikh Mutumba has been suspended from his clerical work.

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