Tanzania LGBT rights activist found dead

Maurice Mjomba, a leading LGBT rights activist and sexual health advocate was found dead this morning at his home in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Tanzania LGBT rights activist found dead
30 July 2012

Maurice Mjomba, a leading LGBT rights activist and sexual health advocate, was found dead today at his home in Dar es Salaam this morning.

The circumstances of his death are still unclear

According to Julius Lumanyika Kyaruzi, coordinator of the Centre for Human Rights Promotion (CHRP), Mjomba was found dead at his home early this morning.

Kyaruzi told Identity Kenya that a neighbor noticed a foul smell’ from Mjomba’s house and called the police.

It may be that he has been dead for several days now, Kyaruzi also stated that Mjomba ‘unreachable on phone’ since last Saturday.

His body is at Muhimbili Mortuary awaiting an autopsy to determine the cause of his death.

A police investigation is now being carried out, although initial unconfirmed reports suggest that he may have been murdered.

Mjomba, aged 29, was a training coordinator (HIV and injecting drug use) at CHRP as well as a leading activist in Stay Awake Network Activities (SANA), a leading organisation in Tanzania dealing with sexual health awareness for men who have sex with men, which includes gay and biseuxal men. He was one of the founding members of SANA, and served as assistant secretary and executive committee member.

According to SANA‘s Facebook page, Mjomba was ‘was strangled by unknown person(s) the date of his death has not been confirmed yet. For more information, we will let you know.’

Colleagues describe him as a ‘hard-working’, ‘honest’ and ‘ a diligent worker.’

Pade, who worked with Mjomba described him to Identity Kenya as: ‘A kind, sincere and an open minded person.

‘He was always ready to help others at all times and he would take time to see things are done accordingly and provide solutions.’

Pade also noted that Mjomba ‘never wanted to be on the forefront [of activism] but he would be at the back [and] when you fall he would catch you. He was a thinker too!’

On his Facebook profile, LGBT activists and friends commented on the news with shock. Mjomba’s was highly praised as a key hard working activist and his death was noted as a great loss to the nascent LGBT community in Tanzania.

Gay Star News does not know and can not confirm details about Mjomba’s private life.

It is still unclear if this was indeed a murder or related to a homophobic crime.

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