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Wednesday, September 29, 1999 Published at 12:43 GMT 13:43 UK

World: Africa

Lock up gays, says Ugandan president

President Museveni: Comments follow reports of gay marriages

President Museveni of Uganda has ordered that homosexuals in Uganda be arrested and charged, a state-owned newspaper has reported.

"I have told the Criminal Investigations Department to look for homosexuals, lock them up and charge them," the New Vision quoted the president as saying.

His comments came at the opening of a meeting on reproductive health.

"God created Adam and Eve," he said. "I did not see God creating man and man."

President Museveni's comments come two weeks after the widely reported gay marriage of two men in the capital, Kampala.

Poll rejects homosexuality

Under Ugandan law, homosexuals can be charged with "carnal knowledge of another against the order of nature."

Conviction can lead to life imprisonment.

A poll published in the New Vision before the president spoke said that 84% of Kampala residents did not want homosexuality legalised.

The paper said it canvassed 505 male and female people of all ages and educational standards.

The idea that homosexuality is an imported western practice and essentially "un-African" finds echoes in comments made by the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Mr Mugabe once described homosexuals as "worse than pigs and dogs".

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