Nsubuga Enock, the primary suspect in the murder of prominent Uganda gay rights activist David Kato, was arrested Tuesday enroute to visit with his girlfriend, according to Vincent Ssetake, a spokesman for the Ugandan National Police Force.
Ssetake confirmed that Enock had confessed to the murder, but, according to Ssetake, Enock told police that the crime wasn’t a robbery and it wasn’t because Kato was an activist.
“It was a personal disagreement but I can’t say more than that.” Ssetake said.
Police told reporters last week that Enock, whom they described as a “well-known thief,” had been staying with Kato after the activist bailed him out of prison on January 24.
Kato, one of the country’s most visible gay rights activists, was pummeled to death with a claw hammer in his home last Thursday and died on the way to hospital.
Kato had been featured in an anti-gay newspaper in October that “outed” people it said were gay, and called on the government to kill them. His photograph was published on the cover under the headline: “Hang Them.”
Giles Muhame, managing editor of the Rolling Stone, a Uganda tabloid, condemned Kato’s killing, and insisted that his publication had not called for gays to be harmed:
“We want the government to hang people who promote homosexuality, not the public to attack them,” Muhame said.
LGBTQ rights activists said they were wary that the country’s national police agency would attempt to cover up any motive indicative of homophobia to protect Western Aid upon which the impoverished Ugandan nation relies on.
Activists along with close friends of the slain gay equality rights leader said they wanted proof from police that Kato was not killed over his sexuality.
In a story released this afternoon online by the Daily Monitor, a major daily newspaper in Kampala, Uganda, a police source speaking on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press, told a reporter that Enock allegedly confessed to killing the activist because he was “tired of engaging in homosexual practices.”
“We have taken him to Mukono Magistrate’s Court to record an extrajudicial statement,” the source said. “He told us that he killed Kato after he failed to give him a car, a house and money he promised as rewards for having sex with him.”
According to the unnamed police source, Enock accused Kato of having sex with him and promising to pay him while he was staying at Kato’s residence. Enock allegedly told the police he got tired of having homosexual intercourse with Kato but that the activist ignored his complaints.
“The suspect said he left the bedroom, went to a store and picked a hammer which he used to hit him [Kato] while he was still in bed,” the source said.
Enock appeared in court hearing Wednesday evening.