African Bloggers Statement on David Kato and Uganda

David Kato, a Ugandan LGBTIQ and human rights activist was brutally murdered in his home on the 26th of January 2011. The statement below was drafted by Sokari Ekine, of Black Looks, and Sean Jacobs, of Africa is a Country, with the aim of getting signatures from 100 African bloggers. I have signed this statement and will strongly encourage other African bloggers to do the same. We need to make a stand against the prevalent homophobia that plagues so many of our countries.

“We the undersigned wish to express our deep sadness at the murder of Ugandan human rights defender David Kato on 26th January 2011. David’s activism began in the 1980s as an Anti-Apartheid campaigner where he first expressed a strong passion and conviction for freedom and justice which continued throughout his life. David was a founding member of Sexual Minorities Uganda where he first served as Board member and until his death as Litigation and Advocacy Officer and he was also a member of Integrity Uganda, a faith-based advocacy organization.

David was a man of vision and courage. One of his major concerns was the growth of religious fundamentalism in Uganda and across the continent and how this would impact on the rights of ordinary citizens including lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered / Gender Non-Comforming and Intersex [LGBTIQ] persons. Years later his concerns were justified when the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill backed by religious fundamentalists was outlined in 2009. David was also an extremely brave man who had been imprisoned and beaten severely because of his sexual orientation and for speaking publicly against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Many African political and religious leaders in countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Zambia, Gambia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Malawi and Botswana, have publicly maligned LGBTIQ people and in some cases directly incited violence against them whilst labeling sexual minorities as “unAfrican”.

In October 2010, the Ugandan tabloid, Rolling Stone published the names and photographs of “100 Top homos” including David Kato. David along with two other LGBTIQ activists successfully sued the magazine on the grounds of “invasion of privacy” and most importantly, the judge ruled that the publication would threaten and endanger the lives of LGBTIQ persons.

The court did not only rule that the publication would threaten and endanger the lives of LGBTIQ persons but it issued a permanent injunction against Rolling Stone newspaper never to publish photos of gays in Uganda, and also never to again publish their home addresses.

Justice Kibuuka Musoke ruled that,

“Gays are also entitled to their rights. This court has found that there was infringement of some people’s confidential rights. The court hereby issues an injunction restraining Rolling Stone newspaper from future publishing of identifications of homosexuals.”

Every human being is protected under the African Charter of Peoples and Human Rights and this includes the rights of LGBTIQ persons. We ask the governments of Uganda and other African countries to stop criminalizing people on the grounds of sexual orientation and afford LGBTIQ people the same protections, freedoms and dignity, as other citizens on the continent.”

Molisa Nyakale, Molisa Nyakale

Anengiyefa Alagoa, Things I Feel Strongly About

Anthony Hebblethwaite, African Activist

Barbra Jolie, Me I Think

Ben Amunwa, Remember Ken Saro-Wiwa

Bunmi Oloruntoba, A Bombastic Element

Chris Ogunlowo, Aloofaa

Eccentric Yoruba, Eccentric Yoruba

Exiled Soul, ExiledSoul

Francisca Bagulho and Marta Lança, Buala

Funmilayo Akinosi, Finding My Path

Funmi Feyide, Nigerian Curiosity

Gay Uganda, Gay Uganda

Glenna Gordon, Scarlett Lion

Godwyns Onwuchekwa, My Person

Jeremy Weate, Naija Blog

Kayode Ogundamisi, Canary Bird

Kadija Patel, Thoughtleader

Keguro Macharia, Gukira

Kenne Mwikya, Kenne’s Blog

Kinsi Abdullah, Kudu Arts

Laura Seay, Texas in Africa

Llanor Alleyne, Llanor Alleyne

Mark Jordahl, Wild Thoughts from Uganda

Matt Temple, Matsuli Music

Mia Nikasimo, MiaScript

Minna Salami, MsAfropolitan

Mshairi, Mshairi

Ndesanjo Macha, Global Voices

Nyokabi Musila, Sci-Cultura

Nze Sylva, Nzesylva’s Blog

Olumide Abimbola, Loomnie

Ory Okolloh, Kenyan Pundit

Pamela Braide, pdbraide

Peter Alegi, Football is Coming Home

Rethabile Masilo, Poefrika

Saratu Abiola, Method to Madness

Sean Jacobs, Africa is a Country

Sokari Ekine, Black Looks

Sonja Uwimana, Africa is a Country

Spectra Speaks, Spectra Speaks

TMS Ruge, Project Diaspora

Toyin Ajao, StandTall

Tosin Otitoju, Lifelib

Val Kalende, Val Kalende

Zackie Achmat, Writing Rights

Zion Moyo, Sky, Soil and Everything in Between


  1. There was a recent documentary here in the UK about homophobia in Uganda. I found it quite disturbing that churches which should preach what is in the Bible – i.e Only God judges, respect and love your neighbour, treat others as you would treat yourself – actively encorage people to be unchristian.

    The whole topic saddens me. The fact that this man is dead and people in Uganda feel no remorse is a sad indictment of us as Africans.

    1. I believe I read a couple of pieces on the documentary on the Gay Ugandan’s blog. People would really expect religious authorities to be more open and humane in their treatment of all kinds of peoples but no, things don’t happen that way.

      The whole topic saddens me. The fact that this man is dead and people in Uganda feel no remorse is a sad indictment of us as Africans.

      I totally agree witht this.

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