Kenya: Murder of LGBTQI+ Activist Edwin Chiloba Sparks Outrage Over Intolerance

Nairobi — The discovery of the body of Edwin Chiloba, an LGBTQ activist, concealed in a metal box after his murder has sparked outrage with rights crusaders expressing deep concern over intolerance.

Chiloba’s body was discovered in Kapsaret near Eldoret within Uasin Gichu county. He was a prominent fashion model and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) activist.

Reacting to reports on his cruel murder, the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) termed escalation of violence against the LGBTQ+ community as worrisome.

Although an official police report was not immediately available on the incident believed to have occurred on Thursday, there were suggestions that the box containing the victim’s remains was dumped in the area by a vehicle whose registration number was concealed.

Bodaboda alerted authorities after discovering it.

KHRC’s statement was echoed by several commentators on social media including Stephen Mutoro, the Secretary General of the Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) who condemned the brutal murder.

While same-sex relations remain outlawed in Kenya, the country’s courts have affirmed rights guaranteed under Articles 28 and 31.

Every person has inherent dignity and the right to have that dignity respected and protected.Article 28, Constitution of Kenya (2010)

Every person has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have-(a) their person, home or property searched;(b) their possessions seized;(c) information relating to their family or private affairs unnecessarily required or revealed; or(d) the privacy of their communications infringed.Article 31, Constitution of Kenya (2010)

In a May 2019 ruling, three High Court judges sitting as a Constitutional Court noted however that the right to dignity and privacy for the LGBTQ+ community could not be applied in isolation to Article 45 of the Constitution (2010).

“Looking at the impugned provisions of the Penal Code vis-a-vis Article 45 (2), we’re satisfied that the impugned provisions do not offend the right to dignity and privacy espoused in Articles 28 and 31. Our view is informed by the fact that we cannot read Articles 28 and 31 in isolation from Article 45 (2),” the bench determined.

Every adult has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex, based on the free consent of the parties.Article 45 (2), Constitution of Kenya (2010)

The court also upheld provisions of the Penal Code specifically Section 162 (c) which sets out an imprisonment term of 14 years for any persons who permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature.

Here are other reactions to Chiloba’s murder:

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