Ugandan presidential contender Abed Bwanika has promised to “rehabilitate” gay people if he wins this week’s elections.
In November last year, Bwanika told a crowd at a rally in Kampala that he would create a “re-correction centre” for “social evils such as corruption and homosexuality.”
The 48-year-old politician and pastor insisted that “Uganda is no area for homosexuality,” reported Daily Monitor.
Bwanika said: “We cannot accept to be pushed into homosexuality by the West. All homosexuals (in Uganda) will be rehabilitated because they have demons and we have specialists to chase out demons.”
According to SBS, in another recent interview, Bwanika said that, “Gayism is acquired…it can be cured,” adding that, “the West does not have the proof, nobody has the proof that somebody can be born a gay”.
Running for the third time, Bwanika, from the People’s Development Party (PDP), is one of eight presidential candidates in Thursday’s poll.
Attempts to “cure” or change people’s sexual orientation or gender identity, known as conversion therapy, have been widely discredited by major medical groups around the world as ineffectual and harmful.
Uganda’s colonial-era 19th century ban on gay sex was enshrined in the Penal Code Act 1950 by the British. It allows the courts to imprison anyone found guilty of homosexuality for life.