When I get to the net and check the news, and see photos of David Kato, I feel teary, again and again. Have to remind myself that it is good to put it out there and mourn the guy. A friend, a fellow activist. Suprising things remind me of him, like being in a place and remembering the last time that I saw him there.
Yes. I hurt. Still. Have to remind myself that it is good to hurt and scream my hurt out.... isnt it? Otherwise it will fester. Into hate.
Something curious has happened. Inspector General of Police, the might Kale Kayihura.... lol, he has quite a reputation. When we first came out as gay at a press conference... that was 2008? [How time flies!], anyway, the Minister of Integrity and Ethics wondered how come we had held a press conference with the major Kampala police station not very far from our venue... We were in masks that time.
Apparently, the guy did reply, or is reported to have said that homosexuality was a crime, but the police had much more serious things to look for. It was a very encouraging statement to us.
And, Kayihura has come out with some very positive statements, this time too. The catalyst is David's murder. Yes, it seems as if he is back tracking on the immediate, easy motives for the murder, not 'rulling' out homophobia. But, he is also cautioning the hate preachers. Here are the suprising statements. The first here.
The Inspector General of Police, Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura, has cautioned the public and anti-homosexuality pastors against being insensitive to the gay community in the country.
Gen. Kayihura, who fell short of openly condemning anti-gays campaigns, said people, especially priests, should stop the campaign which he described as irresponsible. “You must be sensitive. You should stop engaging in extremist campaigns that can be interpreted differently,” Gen. Kayihura said at the Media Centre yesterday. His call followed yesterday’s arrest of a suspect in the killing of David Kato, a gays rights activist, at his home in Mukono District.
And, I believe he also said this at the same time.
Last year Kato was named and pictured by an anti-gay tabloid called Rolling Stone in a story that carried the headline "Hang Them" in reference to gay rights campaigners.
"Whoever is talking about hanging, we are going to have to take them on. It is absolutely unacceptable," Kayihura said.
Kayihura also admonished Anglican priest Thomas Musoke for anti-gay remarks made at Kato's funeral last week.
"You don't make such statements at a funeral," he said. "God accepts everybody ... you must be sensitive."
Although engaging in homosexual sex is listed in Uganda's penal code, Kayihura said investigating such cases in not a top priority.
"At this moment in time, there are bigger crime categories that we are focusing on," he said.
That is the IGP for you. He is quite a likeable guy. Now, now, now, if I compare the police in Uganda to the police in Egypt.... sigh....!
The comparison is quite apt. And, that is the thing which does ruin Kayihura's reputation. At least for me, any way. Of course, his reluctance to go after the sins that Minister Buturo feels are the most deadly kind of endears him to this practicing homosexual!
I also noted that the explanation of 'Gay panic' is taking hold. It is quite 'believable' in Uganda. Remember the homophobic nature of society. Many would believe that murder, for gay advances is reasonable. Just because they are gay advances.
Here is the Monitor statement.
However, preliminary findings by police indicate that Kato was killed by his partner whom he enticed into homosexual practices but failed to fulfill a promise to give him a car. The suspect was yesterday paraded before the media.
We do need to deal with that thing. And, hitting away at that is very important.
Like when the police had decided that it was 'aggravated robbery' for goodness' sake!