Popular Ugandan artist and self-styled ‘Ghetto President Bobi Wine has been denied a visa to the UK, after gay rights campaigners accused him of inciting homophobic attacks in his song lyrics thus pushing an anti-gay agenda with songs such as: “Burn all the batty man. He has been forced to cancel gigs in the UK (Birmingham and London), This is Africa reports. His application was refused by the Home Office on the grounds set out in the The UK Criminal Justice and Immigration Act of 2008, which forbids inciting hatred on the ground of sexual orientation.
Gay rights campaigners voiced objections when Wine’s shows were announced. A change.org petition said: “Ugandan artist Bobi Wine writes songs with blatant homophobic lyrics and calls for gay people to be attacked, or killed… allowing such an artist to appear in public is clearly going to raise tensions”
The petition also questioned the use of the lyrics such as: “Burn all the batty man. All Ugandans get behind me and fight the batty man.”
The UK Criminal Justice and Immigration Act of 2008 forbids inciting hatred on the ground of sexual orientation. When asked about Wine’s claims, the UK Home Office they said they were unable to comment on individual cases.
Before the visa decision was reported, Wine outlined his position on homosexuality and freedom of speech in the Ugandan newspaper The Daily Monitor.
“I am personally not out to threaten the life of any individual based on their sexual orientation, I just do not agree with them [homosexuals]”, he said. “This is my opinion and happens to be that of 99 per cent of Ugandans”, he claimed.
“I hope that the proponents of homosexuality who pride themselves in their liberalism and support for human rights, will allow me my right of expression much as they may not be comfortable with my opinion,” he added.
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Just a few days later Uganda’s Constitutional court overturned a ruling that would have seen homosexuals face life imprisonment. The judgement was seen as a victory for gay rights activists, though homosexuality remains illegal in the country.
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