The news today that David Kato, a staunch and prominent Human Rights activist in Uganda is a big threat and raises newer fears. David dedicated his life to fighting for the rights of gay African people in Uganda right up to his death earlier today.
Information available stated that a man came in a vehicle, went into his house, hit him [twice] on the head and went back into his car and left. An undoubtedly hate crime. Could we argue that this isnt inspired by homophobia? David died on the way to the hospital.
Such is the life of gay people across many African countries and such is the ease with which anyone can attack them. For this assailant in Uganda, he had the boldness to do this horrible crime in broad daylight at 1pm [as reported] because he has the confidence that rarely would anyone care? Yes, after all, he is ‘cleansing the land’.
In a country where a [Anti-Homosexual] Bill is still in the Parliament, condoned and possibly going to be passed into law proposing the hanging to death of gay men and women, motivating homophobia and hate by insisting families must report to the police once they know someone is gay. The same bill insist that health workers, spiritual leaders, communities and everyone to behave in such manners. The Bill’s introduction claims it is trying to safeguard the tradition of Uganda, etc.
Why, with all the above impunity, would anyone not feel bold enough to attack gay people in Uganda? Why, with such an unbridled homophobia, would anyone not feel confident to execute murder in such open-field manner?
David Kato did a wonderful work fighting tall and brave through his group, Sexual Minorites Uganda. As the advocacy officer that group, he stood unthreatened against that Anti-Homosexual Bill. And on January 3rd, just 23 days ago, with two other activists, Kato won their case against Rolling Stone, Uganda that published photos of people suspected to be gay including Kato’s. Today, the publication has achieved the very aim.
but David’s death will not deter the fight. It is a big loss and we all mourn with no consolation. The gay African community knows that this vacuum cannot be filled. David passion inspired us and his legacy will continue to live and shine amongst us. We will not resort to animalistic behaviour of killings, violence and maimings.
We will fight on and continue to demand our rights. We will not give up. And if we die, we die. But the price that David Kato has paid today will not go in vain.
Rest in peace dear brother. The gay African community wish we are not saying that now.