A photo in today’s issue of Red Pepper depicts Chris Mubiru, manager of the Cranes, supposedly having sex with an unnamed man. The headline, which ran across the entire paper, reads, “Smoked Out! Uganda Cranes boss nabbed sodomising players – Shocking pictures inside.”
The photos detailed the alleged sexual acts with captions designed to outrage the country’s conservative population: ‘MASTER AT WORK: Mubiru nails the boys butt’, ‘shafting’ and ‘hurting the boy’, to finally ‘END GAME: The boy struggles to stand up after the bum shattering session.’
The alleged ‘young player’ was not identified nor could the validity of the pictures be ascertained.
Accusations of homosexuality against political enemies are common in Uganda, which is set to vote on a draconian anti-gay law any day now. And Red Pepper has used gay scandals to sell papers and spark outrage in the past: In 2006, the rag published the names of prominent Ugandan men suspected of being gay, leading to violence against those cited.
It’s possible the photos of Mubiri published today are actually from a 2010 incident, in which he was accused of giving a top player an unrequested massage:
Having worked his socks off in the first of two training sessions that then national team coach Mohammed Abbas had lined up on the day, David Kalungi decided to spend the afternoon roosting in his room at the Nelson Mandela Stadium’s guesthouse.
Unknown to Kalungi, someone had allegedly crept into his room. As the pint-sized midfielder sprawled on his bed with his face fronting the mattress, he felt someone apparently massage his rear. Kalungi didn’t like what was transpiring, and so he quickly got up to tell off whoever was massaging his rear.
Kalungi claims that the man who was massaging his rear was a one Chris Mubiru, a maverick character who has struggled to fend off gay inferences in Ugandan football.