Kenya’s most notorious anti-LGBTI official will be hosted by Google at its summit on digital literacy and safety.
Via his Facebook post, the head of Kenya Film Classification Board, Ezekiel Mutua, bragged that he had no trouble getting a US visa to attend the summit organised by Google’s Web Rangers at its headquarters in Mountain View, California.
In his post, Mutua also bragged about how he ‘didn’t even have to go to the Embassy for biometrics or pay the visa application fee’, and had the visa ‘delivered to my [his] office free of charge’.
This appears largely in contrast to other Kenyan entrepreneurs, students and children who are often refused visas.
Mutua, one of Kenya’s most outspoken anti-LGBTI rights campaigners, has been on a crusade to ban any LGBTI-postive content – including demanding Youtube to take down a music video celebrating same-sex relationships. As head of the government agency that regulates all forms of visual content in the country, he has also banned a film on Kenya’s LGBTI community, a podcast hosted by a lesbian and singer duo as well as a a gay speed-dating event in its capital, Nairobi.
When Netflix first launched in Kenya, he called it a threat to the country’s ‘moral values and national security’.
On social media, while Kenyans had called Mutua a ‘petty and dangerous religious zealot’, others had asked if the US could keep him. In response, Mutua called one of his detractors a ‘bloody fool’.
Same-sex relationships are currently criminalized in Kenya, punishable with up to 14 years in prison. Gay people are known to have been evicted from homes, forced to flee the country or placed under arrest. In May last year, Kenyan newspaper Citizen Weekly also published on its front page the names and photos of 12 LGBTI activists and leaders.
To top it all, the country’s High Court has ruled in June this year that anal probe torture is a ‘reasonable’ way to prove the crime of homosexuality – which essentially means any person in Kenya can now be legally tortured to find out if they are gay.