by Roxanna Bennett. This was originally posted at Roxanna’s blog: Choose Your Own Adventure.
It is with great satisfaction that I write that the murderer of Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato has been sentenced to thirty years in prison.
22 year-old Sidney Enoch Nsubuga admitted that he bludgeoned Kato to death with a hammer but claimed it was in self defence as Kato was making unwanted sexual advances toward him. Nsubuga was found guilty by High Court judge Joseph Mulangira. Although he was convicted of murder, the Ugandan government and media maintain that the crime that was committed was a personal disagreement and had nothing to do with Kato’s activism or his sexual orientation. Although pleased with the outcome of the sentence, many activists think that the trial itself was a sham.
The conviction was handed down at the same time that Kato’s colleague Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, was receiving the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award for his tireless activism in promoting LGBTQ rights in Africa.
The conviction also comes at a time when the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill, more popularly known as the “Kill the Gays” Bill is being re-opened for debate in Parliament. The private members bill was first submitted in 2009 by MP David Bahati.
David Kato was found on the floor of his home, dead, in a pool of blood on January 26, 2011. Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda.