Uganda Police chief cautions against gays attacks

Friday February 4 2011

By Andrew Bagala, E. Mulondo & Melody Kukundakwe


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.

At a different press briefing, Information and National Guidance Minister Kabakumba Masiko dismissed international condemnation of the government, which linked Kato’s killing to his sexual orientation.

Who to blame?
“It (killing) was an act of thuggery not that it was organised because of what he was. Much as homosexuality is prohibited by the Constitution, his death was a (private) mission gone bad,” the minister said. “The government is doing whatever it takes to ensure that those who killed Kato are brought to book.”

The international media linked Kato’s killing to the recent publication of his photo in a local tabloid, The Rolling Stone. The tabloid said Kato was among the gays in the country who should be hanged. 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.