Accusations of Homosexuality causes Mob Justice, Violence at School and Police Closure
By Melanie Nathan, August 06, 2015.
A near riot occurred at a reputable all boys school in Uganda, with conflicting reports as to the reason behind the violence, which caused police and administrators to send the students home, closing the school early before term end.
While the press allege the incident was caused by a homosexual act of two students, a teacher dismissing those claims, based it on a mob justice resulting from a theft of articles by friends.
Police were called to restore calm at the Ntare School, one of the most respected educational institutions in Uganda, after which the school was closed and students sent home, to avoid a recurrence of violence after a riot on Tuesday. Ntare School is a residential all-boys’ secondary school located in Mbarara, Mbarara District, Western Uganda, attended by President Yoweri Museveni.
It seems that local press in Uganda is willing to pursue the persecution and scapegoating of gays, noted by the following choice language.
This is how the press spun the story with the header, “Mbarara: Ntare School Closed Over Homosexuality”:
“Students went on rampage on Tuesday night, following information that two of their own were notorious homosexuals.
In a discreet move, the said students were nabbed by their colleagues “pants down” over the weekend.
Teachers however, and other administrators came in time to save the two from being lynched. They also cautioned the students to keep the matter secret for the school’s reputation.”
This however did not go well with the student community, who on Tuesday night launched a violent strike after night studies.
Police which was immediately called in used teargas, fired live bullets and finally managed to restore normalcy at around 3:00am, forcing all students back into their dormitories, according to the Western Region Police Field Force Unit OC Richard Tamale.
The students told journalists later in the morning that they were angered by the administration which refused to punish the gay students.
One of the students whose names we conceal, told ChimpReports that administrators cautioned them not to say a thing about the cause of the strike so as to protect the reputation of the biggest school in the western region.
And this is how a teacher from the school, described the event:
“It was nothing much, the students were trying to carry out mob justice on one of their friends whom they accused of theft. He was caught with stolen uniforms and sweaters.”
Apparently when Jimmy Turyagyenda, the School head teacher, was asked by reporters to explain what happened, he blamed the riot on mob justice resulting from a theft.
If in fact the issue was one of homosexuality, and if in fact two students were caught together, one can only blame the extreme violence and mob behavior on the horrendous anti-gay climate and state sanctioned persecution in Uganda, which seems to encourage such over reaction and outrage.
The decision to close the school early before term end, was made by Mbarara District Police Commander Jaffar Magezi together with the school administrators. Anti riot police remained in guard of the school all Wednesday. It is not known if anyone was hurt in the incident.