A Ugandan man identified as Jimmy Sswerwadda has divorced his partner of two years Lawrence Kaala and remarried another unnamed Swedish man.
Jimmy and Lawrence, who met in Uganda, claimed to be the country’s first ever gay couple to legally tie the knot.
According to Ugandan news sources, the two fled from Uganda’s homophobic laws to Sweden and later legally married on January 26th, 2013.
The two exchanged vows in a crowded church in the north Stockholm suburb of Järfälla.
“It feels great,” Sserwadda told The Local after the wedding, which was attended by more than one hundred guests – including Sweden’s EU Minister Birgitta Ohlsson.
“We had been separated in such a hostile environment; we didn’t know if we’d ever see each other again.”
The ceremony was supposed to be a fairy-tale ending to an improbable story for the two men who found themselves reunited in Sweden years after their relationship had been cut short due to persecution in their native Uganda.
“Uganda is the worst place in the world to live in openly as a gay,” Sserwadda explained.
The two men had been in a long-term relationship in Uganda until one day in 2008 when Sserwadda suddenly fled the country shortly after being arrested and beaten for “promoting homosexuality”.
“I didn’t tell Lawrence. I know he would have insisted on coming with me and that would have put our lives at risk. So I left him behind,” he said.
Sserwadda ended up in Sweden and was granted asylum on account of the risks he faced as a gay man if he were to return to Uganda.
He became active in the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights, helping other LBGT asylum seekers with their cases.
Through chance, Kaala also ended up in Sweden and was dumbfounded to see his former lover’s picture plastered on a magazine cover three years after Sserwadda fled.
Kaala phoned Sserwadda who was equally surprised to hear from the man he assumed he would never see again.
“I was shocked. I thought it was a joke,” Sserwadda recalled.
“When we finally met in person, Lawrence said, ‘Yes, darling it’s me!’ As we hugged he then asked me why I had left.”
Sserwadda explained why he kept his plans to flee Uganda a secret and was soon forgiven for leaving his lover in the lurch.
The two rekindled their former relationship, and began talking about having a wedding.
It is understood the couple married on the two-year anniversary of the murder of David Kato, one of Uganda’s most famous LGBT activists.
It seems their marriage was not bound to last as Sswerwadda divorced Kaala and married yet another loaded Swedish man, says media reports.
The cause of their split is yet to be known.
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