A sentence handed down to four Ugandan pastors who defamed another has been upheld by the country’s high court.

The four pastors accused him of “sodomising” his male flock.

The four pastors, who included Martin Ssempa of Makerere Christian Centre , Michael Kyazze of Omega Healing Ministries, Solomon Male of Arising for Christ Church and Robert Kayiira had defamed Pastor Robert Kayanja

They were sentenced to a hundred hours of community service and 1million Ugandan Shillings (£244) each for defaming the pastor.

After appealing the decision, the high court Judge Murangira had advised the four pastors to come to an agreement out of court with Pastor Kayanja.

The pastors, being unhappy with the ruling, have said they will continue to fight against it.

“This has now turned into a ‘long walk to freedom’ and for that we are going to appeal in the Court of Appeal until court finds those people who did this. I grieve for Ugandans who are searching for justice. For 5 years we have lived in conspiracy,” one of the pastors, Ssempa said after the judgement was received.

“I welcome the news, these pastors need even tougher sentences than just 100 hours of community service for blackmailing and inciting homophobic hate crimes should. This at least gives us some hope with the Ugandan courts”, Edwin Sesange, Director, African LGBTI Out and Proud Diamond Group.

Martin Ssempa is well known for his lectures against homosexuality. He went on Uganda television last December and demonstrated with fruit and vegetables how he believes gay men and women have sex.