Wairagala Wakabi

Kampala - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has joined his Zimbabwean counterpart Robert Mugabe in gay-bashing, issuing a directive to his police to hunt down homosexuals.

"I have told the criminal investigations department to look for homosexuals, lock them up and charge them in court," Museveni told an international conference on reproductive health rights on Monday.

Homosexuality in Uganda is an offence punishable by life imprisonment.

However, at least two gay marriages have been reported by the press this year.

Police said they were investigating reports that two men got married on September 10 in Wandegeya on the outskirts of Kampala.

Echoing Mugabe, Museveni said Africans should not copy "European" practices such as homosexuality, which he said was "abominable".

"Even the Bible spells it out clearly that God created Adam and Eve as wife and husband, but not to marry fellow men, as was the case in Wandegeya," he said.

Museveni also said he would oppose a bill that seeks to lower the age of consent to sex from 18 to 16 years.

Last week, a Congolese businessman was charged in a Kampala court for allegedly sodomising 11 boys whom he had reportedly lured from a video hall. Although he gave them money for the act, some of the boys later felt pain and reported the man to the police.