Who is David Bahati?: Flash Uganda Media looks at his biography, age, family, wife, tribe, Anti-Homosexuality Bill, work and experience, political career, early life and education of the current Member of Parliament for the constituency of Ndorwa West, Kabale District.
David Bahati is a Ugandan chartered accountant, politician, businessman, Ndorwa West legislator Kabale District and the current State Minister for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (Industry) in the Cabinet of the Republic of Uganda.
Bahati was named to that position in 2021 after the general elections by the President of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. He is a staunch member of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), the ruling party and the chief of the Scout Board of Uganda.
Bahati is one man who grew up without career aspiration but turned into a useful person in the country. Bahati originates from a humble background and owes everything he has to the community that brought him up.
Bahati asserts he’s a living testimony, and anyone can achieve his or her goals as long as they stay focused in life. He has a great sense of humour and is a very loving, kind person who says he never considers himself to be a politician, but rather a community worker.
Early Life and Education
David Bahati was born on 6 August 1973, in Ndorwa, Kabale District, Uganda to a family of five children. Bahati grew up with his grandmother who took care of him following the death of his parents.
When his grandmother passed on while in P.6, the one he looked up to for a living, his life turned upside down without his parents, grandmother and his siblings. He has lived the best and worst of what life could offer.
As a child, he used to sell banana leaves, cigarettes and ferrying foodstuffs at the market in Kabale District to earn school fees, but in all this, Bahati had hope for tomorrow, he hoped life would change in future for the better, and indeed it changed.
Bahati was orphaned at the age of three. However, Bahati was later reunited with his other four siblings who were taken up by other relatives after the death of their parents while in secondary school.
Bahati attended Kakomo Primary School, then Kigezi High School for both O’ & A’ Level, one of the best performing schools in western Uganda.
He managed to complete his studies at Kigezi High because his Head Teacher was a very understanding man, he allowed Bahati to study and during holidays, he and other students in the same category could work in the school compound and gardens to pay school fees.
After Bahati joined Makerere University on government sponsorship from where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce, then Cardiff University where he obtained his Master of Business Administration.
Bahati holds an executive certificate in strategic management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, an executive certificate in campaign leadership from the Leadership Institute, and a diploma in business English from the Manchester Business School.
Work and Experience
David Bahati is the current State Minister for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives in the Uganda Cabinet.
Before, he served as the State Minister for Finance and Planning, named to the post in a cabinet reshuffle on 1 March 2015, replacing Matia Kasaija currently Minister for Finance.
He’s been the Member of Parliament, Ndorwa West in Kabale District, western Uganda since 2006 and Ndorwa County West National Resistance Movement (NRM) Chairperson.
David Bahati before politics was the head of Finance and Administration at Uganda Population Secretariat. He has worked as the Chief of the Scout Board of Uganda.
He’s a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).
David Bahati shot the limelight in October 2009 after he tabled the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill as a Private Member’s Bill on 13 October 2009. Bahati in the Bill proposed that a new offence titled “aggravated homosexuality” be introduced.
This is a capital offence intended to punish those involved in homosexual acts according to Bahati which caused an international uproar and attention.
In the proposal, Bahati also suggested that a death penalty be put in place to punish gay adults who get involved in sexual activities with underage children, disabled people, when the accused party is HIV-positive, and for those previously convicted of homosexuality-related offences.
Bahati claimed, he has a passion for service and makes a difference in people’s lives that why he fights for what he believes is right. In his view, homosexuality is an abomination and punishable by death according to Biblical doctrines.
His stand against homosexuality was to protect Ugandan children from misconception and misguidance from the wrong characters, the rich who are trying to influence the world with their homosexuality agenda.
According to Bahati, this is a great threat to society and the future generation. He wanted to secure children’s future and save them from moral degeneration.
In a set of criticism to Bahati’s Bill, Journalist and gay rights activist Jeff Sharlet, winner of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission’s Outspoken Award, in a private conversation claimed that Uganda’s Bahati expressed a desire to “kill every last gay person.”
According to Sharlet, the bill came about as a result of Bahati’s membership in the Christian group “The Family”.
Sharlet stated that Bahati reportedly first floated the idea of the bill which at that time included the death penalty for homosexual assaults on minors, disabled people, or by knowingly HIV positive men during The Family’s Uganda National Prayer Breakfast in 2008.
Responding to Sharlet’s statement by then, Bob Hunter, a member of “The Family”, in an interview with NPR in December 2009, acknowledged Bahati’s connection but reasoned that no American associates support the bill.
And following worldwide dissemination of the news of the gay execution law proposal, Bahati was disinvited from the 2010 US National Prayer Breakfast, but to Bahati, it wasn’t of great concern, he was mindful about children future since he’s a family man.
In an interview conducted in 2010, Bahati revealed that $15 million had been invested in Uganda to recruit school children into homosexuality. “They go to a school, teach them, and entice them with money, to lure them into this practice.”
Additionally, Bahati asserted that videos were being circulated in Uganda pointing out that “a man sleeping with a man is okay,” as one of the tactics used for “recruitment”.
However, Bahati in an interview clearly stated that the proposed law will go through the democratic process of Uganda and be debated upon.
Further, Bahati noted that America should have respect towards its sovereignty saying Ugandan law will have jurisdiction over Ugandans alone.
Nevertheless, Ugandan Parliament passed the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act on 20 December 2013, with the death penalty proposed dropped in favour of Life in prison.
The bill was signed into law by the President of Uganda on 24 February 2014. On 1 August 2014, however, the Constitutional Court of Uganda ruled the Act invalid on procedural grounds.
Parliament deplored David Bahati’s point of view that called for serial homosexual offenders to be hanged.
In the legislator’s view, Bahati’s proposal lacked a sense of humanity and are not consistent with the Scout Movement’s goals of personal development and promoting physical, intellectual, social and spiritual well-being of the individual.
This was in line with Bahati’s position where he was the Chief of the Scout Board Movement of Uganda.
As a result, parliamentarians dropped calls to the Chief Executive of the UK Scout Movement to expel Mr Bahati from his post; and further calls on Ugandan MPs to vote against the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill which was authored by Mr Bahati.
David Bahati is married to Juliet and together they’re parents of three children; David, Daniel, Joy. He loves his family very much saying he doesn’t want his children to go through what he experienced during his childhood times.
Bahati who grew up without his parents notes that having children is something fulfilling to him because he loves children.
He values his family because it is the foundation for everything he does in life. Bahati is always there for his family and vice versa.
Bahati is a family man and very social and friendly. However, he says his wife Juliet is his special friend. And besides his family, Bahati has another large political family that he loves dearly.
He narrates that they are loving, good people who believe in their political cause.
Bahati is a staunch Christian.