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Power, sex and scandal

By Joshua Masinde

Power, sex and scandal have been known to go together since man started living in organised communities, the first recorded incidents being in biblical times. Often, the mix has ended in tragedy but more often in blushes and a little embarrassment  depending on how high the personalities involved  and, then life goes on. Last weeks tragic death of the former UPDF army commander Maj. Gen. James Kazini in his girlfriend Lydia Drarus house at Wabigalo-Namuwongo has once again provided occasion for reflection, and recollection of this potent mix. Below, Joshua Masinde compiles some of the big names, and their sex scandals.

John Profumo: The Profumo Affair was a 1963 political scandal in the United Kingdom that is named after the then Secretary for War, John Profumo. The Profumo affair developed after Profumo had a brief relationship with a showgirl named Christine Keeler, who was also reputedly the mistress of a known Russian spy, and then lied in the House of Commons when he was questioned about it. The scandal forced Profumo to resign and also severely damaged the reputation of Prime Minister Harold Macmillans government. Macmillan himself would resign a few months later owing to ill health.

King David: He seduced Bathsheba and raped her, resulting in her pregnancy. This led to his attempts at a cover-up and the plot at assassinating Bathshebas husband, Uriah, a military leader. When the prophet Nathan confronted the king with a parable about a rich man who misused his power against a poor man, David thundered that the rich man deserved to die and must repay fourfold for his misdeed. Davids reign from then on was marred by grotesque family dysfunction  rape and murder among his children  and tumultuous challenges to his leadership. Even after his death, one son killed another son.

King Solomon: He loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hitters; from the nations of whom the God had said to the children of Israel, You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, among them the Queen of Sheba in present day Ethiopia with whom he had a son, Menelik I, who became Emperor of Abbysinia.

Samson: His great weakness was beautiful women. He fell in love with a beautiful Philistine woman named Delilah. She tricked him to tell her the secret about his strength. “If you cut off all of my hair I shall be as weak as any other man.” When Samson slept with his head in Delilah’s lap she beckoned the men to shave off his hair. His strength was gone and the Philistine soldiers jumped upon Samson and beat him badly. Samson was overcome. Delilah, in the name of love, had betrayed him completely.

Franklin Roosevelt: His affair with Lucy Mercer was discovered by his wife Eleanor in 1918. Roosevelt agreed to end the affair, but the romance began anew sometime later and continued while he was president. Mercer was with Roosevelt when he died in Warm Springs, Georgia in 1945, but this (like the affair itself) was kept hidden until much later.

Thomas Jefferson: The claim that US president Thomas Jefferson fathered children with Sally Hemings, a slave at Monticello, entered the public arena during Jefferson’s first term as president, and it has remained a subject of discussion and disagreement for nearly two centuries. In January 2000, the committee reported its finding that the weight of all known evidence – from the DNA study, original documents, written and oral historical accounts, and statistical data – indicated a high probability that Thomas Jefferson was the father of Eston Hemings, and that he was perhaps the father of all six of Sally Hemings’ children listed in Monticello records – Harriet (born 1795; died in infancy); Beverly (born 1798); an unnamed daughter (born 1799; died in infancy); Harriet (born 1801); Madison (born 1805); and Eston (born 1808).

John Kakonge: In 1969, the then UPC secretary general Kakonge was caught red handed by one Kayongo, a government driver, making love to his wife in their marital bed in Namuwoge. The woman was a dancer. Kakonge was beaten to near death. Only the quick intervention of the police saved him from the angry husband and irate mob.

Bill Clinton: One of the most publicized affairs of any sitting president. From November 1995 to March of 1997, Clinton had a series of sexual encounters with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The affair became public in 1998, at almost the same time Paula Jones was suing Clinton for sexual harassment. Clinton denied having sexual relations with Lewinsky; his denial, among other things, led to Clinton’s impeachment for perjury and obstruction of justice. Earlier at the outset of the 1992 campaign in the US, the former lounge singer Gennifer Flowers claimed she had a 12-year affair with Bill Clinton, which he denied. But in a deposition in the Paula Jones case on Jan. 17, Clinton reportedly admitted the affair while denying it lasted 12 years.

Silvio Berlusconi: The Italian prime minister has been involved in strings of sexual scandals with prostitutes. Patrizia D’Addario, 42, a high-class prostitute-cum-former actress, was paid 1,000 Euros (£850) to go to bed with the 72-year-old prime minister on one night. She told a French newspaper that she was offered a seat in the European Parliament following her second rendezvous with Berlusconi. Although Berlusconi has made no secret of his love of women, the sex scandals surrounding him are now threatening to topple him, as more claims emerge of the systematic recruitment of young women paid to attend private parties at his homes in Rome and Sardinia.

Sosuke Uno, Prime Minister of Japan, resigned in 1989, after less than three months when a geisha revealed that she had a four-month affair with him. The controversy surrounding Uno’s extramarital affair was more focused on irresponsibility rather than immorality. Uno supposedly did not support his mistress, at least not with an appropriate amount, which led her to complain publicly.


Jacob Zuma: Was accused of raping a family friend. Court dismissed the charges, agreeing that the sexual act in question was consensual. During the trial, Zuma admitted to having unprotected sex with his accuser but claimed that he took a shower afterwards to cut the risk of contracting HIV. This prompted outrage in the scientific community, not the least because Zuma once served as head of South Africa’s National AIDS Council.

Gilbert Bukenya: Uganda’s vice president Bikenya has had his fair share of scandal. First it was one Jamilla Nakku who confessed to having extramarital sexual relations with Bukenya even when both are married. The VP denied any however blamed everything on his enemies. Later he was also accused by his former driver of having an affair with his estranged wife Kabasinguzi Akiiki, whom the VP allegedly settled in a posh house in Fort Portal.

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