ON August 19, 2021, FactCheckHub received a post shared on WhatsApp alleging that the Ugandan President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, said a gay couple would remain in jail until one gets pregnant.
The message which appears to be a screenshot of a tweet reads: “Two Ugandan gay couple have been jailed for unknown term, President Museveni says till one gets pregnant that’s when they will be released.”
The text was accompanied by a photo of Museveni.
Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni says jailed gay couple will regain freedom only if one gets pregnant.
An internet search revealed that the claim has been in circulation since 2020; it was published by a Somali platform, archived here. The claim was also published by Opera News and in April 2021 by a blog, 9jaBlitz.
Since 1986, Museveni has been the president of Uganda.
Using the Google Reverse Image Search, Musveni’s photo attached to the claim was traced to an article dated February 24, 2014, and authored by Rodney Muhumuza for the Associated Press (AP) and published on The Christian Science Monitor.
Rebecca Vassie shot Museveni’s photograph for the AP during the signing, with the caption, “Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni signs a new anti-gay bill that sets harsh penalties for homosexual sex, in Entebbe, Uganda Monday, Feb. 24, 2014.”
Three months after the enacted anti-gay law dubbed “killed the gays”, AP reported how two Ugandans were charged for flouting the newly enacted law.
However, in the same 2014, the anti-gay law was later annulled by the Ugandan Supreme Court. As at when the posts were published, Uganda had no anti-gay laws. The closest to that is the Sexual Offenses Bill, 2019, which was passed by the Parliament in early May 2021 and awaiting presidential assent.
Furthermore, aside from blogs, no mainstream local media or international media reported the claim attributed to Museveni.
The FactCheckHub reached out via email to the author of the Opera News article; there was no reply after four days.
The judiciary in Uganda is responsible for the interpretation and application of the law, and not the President who is an executive.
There is no evidence to validate the claim that President Museveni of Uganda said a jailed gay couple will be released only when one gets pregnant. Thus, the claim is FALSE.