The Njeru Grade One Magistrate, His Worship Egesa Masaaka, has extended the remand of Ms. Patricia Nantume, known as Malaika, the 26-year-old proprietor of Cloud-9 Massage and Chill Outs in Bukaya West, Njeru Municipality, Buikwe District. She will remain in Bugungu prison until September 20, as she faces multiple charges, including homosexuality and trafficking in persons, as stipulated in Section 2(1) (2) of the recently enacted Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023.
During the court proceedings on Wednesday, Magistrate Egesa Masaaka emphasized that the case can only be tried in the High Court. This appearance marked Ms. Nantume’s second appearance before the same Magistrate within a span of two weeks.
The Anti-Homosexuality Act, signed into law by President Museveni in May 2023, imposes severe penalties for offenders, with life imprisonment upon conviction and 20 years for permitting their premises to be used for homosexual activities.
According to the prosecution’s allegations, Ms. Nantume and an accomplice, who is currently at large, engaged in a sexual act with a person of the same sex at Cloud-9 Massage and Chill Outs between April and August 2023. Court documents also claim that during the same period, Ms. Nantume allowed her rented house at Cloud-9 Massage and Chill Outs to be used for homosexual activities. Additionally, it is alleged that she transported and exploited one of her staff for sexual purposes. Consequently, she faces charges of promotion of homosexuality, as outlined in section 11(1) (2) (a) of the Anti-Homosexuality Act (2023), and trafficking in persons, as defined in Section 3(1) (a) of the Trafficking in Persons Act (2009).
Earlier, four individuals, including Ms. Nantume, were apprehended following a raid on her massage parlor, which was accused of offering gay and lesbian sexual services. However, three suspects were released, with some identified as victims who became state witnesses.
RELATED STORY: Massage Parlor Owner Charged In Homosexuality Case
The arrests stemmed from a tip-off provided to the area defense secretary by an employee at the massage parlor, who expressed concerns about alleged illicit activities taking place at the establishment. Ms. Hellen Butoto, the Ssezibwa Region Police Spokesperson, confirmed that the police raid on the massage parlor resulted in the discovery of various items, including a dildo, two packets of shisha flavor, bottles of oils commonly used for massages or as lubricants for anal sex, two video cameras, and a tripod (camera stand).