African Bloggers Statement on David Kato and Uganda

Dear Readers,

The statement below has been written and signed by a collective of African Bloggers, including myself, who stand in solidarity with David Kato and what he stood for, even after his passing. May we continue to remember the power in our collective voices, and in our unwavering solidarity against homophobia, not only in Africa, but all over the world.


“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.

Nzesylva,                                           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