Nearly 600 ‘cases’ of homosexuality have been rounded up in a Kenya witch-hunt, a senior politician has boasted.
Aden Duale, the majority leader in the National Assembly, has pronounced homosexuality as bad as terrorism and said it should be treated in the same way.
Reading a statement by the Internal Security ministry, Duale said in parliament that 595 cases of homosexuality have been dealt with legally since 2010.
He was responding to calls from politicians that Kenya is ‘not doing enough’ to stamp out the ‘scourge of homosexuality’.
Duale said Kenya, in fact, is doing more than neighboring Uganda in dealing with gay people.
‘Uganda has passed a law but for us the Constitution and the Penal Code are very clear,’ he said, referring to the law that jails gay people for seven years.
‘But I want to urge my colleagues that this is a social problem. It is incumbent upon our religious leaders, our political leaders, government, parents, school administrators, we must [campaign against] it.’
Duale added: ‘We need to go on and address this issue the way we want to address terrorism.
‘It’s as serious as terrorism. It’s as serious as any other social evil.’
A group of politicians led by MP Irungu Kang’ata have recently been demanding anti-gay laws in the African country to be stricter and enforced.
According to Pew Research, 90% of Kenyans also support greater oppression of the LGBTI community.
Following Duale’s statement, Kang’ata said he was ‘happy’ with the results and said the Majority Leader’s statement had proven Kenya is ahead of Uganda in implementing laws against homosexuals.
But some politicians were not satisfied.
‘Can’t we just be brave enough and go the way Uganda has gone? We outlay gayism and be done with this foreign influence?” Alois Lentoimaga said.
That, he was told, is not an option right now.
Speaking to GSN, Kenyan LGBTI activist Denis Nzioka said human rights groups are mobilizing to ensure a Uganda or Nigeria-style bill will never see the light of day in Kenya.
But he predicts if Kenya follows suit after Uganda and Nigeria, then it is very likely the predominantly Muslim countries in the north of Africa will not be far behind.
‘I know that some of these leaders engage on this level and of course talk of criminalizing homosexuality,’ he said.
‘They are playing politics with homosexuality, it is their trump card. Politicians will use any means to make sure they are elected.
‘And nothing is more of an issue than homosexuality.’