'Sexual' British children's book seized from Uganda school

AFP , Thursday 11 Aug 2016

Ugandan officials raided a prestigious private school on Thursday to seize copies of British children's author Jacqueline Wilson's "Love Lessons" on the orders of a minister who has led several crackdowns on "obscene" conduct.

Minister for ethics and integrity Simon Lokodo said the book exposed children attending the exclusive Greenhill Academy to sex at too young an age.

The school in the capital Kampala is popular with Uganda's elite and Western expatriates, and admits pupils between five and 12 years old.

"My team went to the school and confiscated the books from the library and we have opened investigations into their motive," Lokodo told AFP.

"The books contained literature on sex and these books are not suitable for primary pupils," he added.

"Love Lessons" tells the story of 14-year-old Prudence, who escapes the misery of life at home with a controlling father by falling in love with her handsome art teacher.

At certain points she shares kisses with the teacher, but there is no explicit sexual content in the novel, which is aimed at young teenagers.

Greenhill Academy management refused to comment on the raid.

Lokodo has become notorious in Uganda for his fight against homosexuality and anything he deems provocative.

A gay pride parade in Kampala planned for last weekend was postponed after the minister was accused of saying mob attacks on participants would be their own fault.

He also had Ugandan pop star Jemimah Kansiime arrested last year for performing in a music video he deemed "very obscene and vulgar" as part of an anti-pornography campaign.

Lokodo also ordered police to arrest men who procure prostitutes and described a popular local television dating show as prostitution.

Local media reported that he also confronted Uganda's youngest MP when she walked into parliament in a short skirt.

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