A Ugandan court on Thursday sentenced a man to 30 years in jail for the brutal slaying earlier this year of David Kato, one of Uganda’s leading gay rights activists.
Justice Joseph Mulangira handed down the sentence to 22-year-old Enoch Nsubuga, who had admitted that he that he bludgeoned Kato to death with a hammer at his home outside Kampala in January.
Nsubuga claimed that he had been reacting to unwanted demands for sex.
Prior to his murder, Kato, 46, had been featured in an anti-gay newspaper that “outed” people it said were gay and called on the government to kill them. Kato’s photograph was published on the cover under the headline: “Hang Them.”
But police said Nsubuga was a “thief” known to Kato, and the murder was not related to the victim’s campaign for gay rights.
Homosexuality is illegal in 37 African nations, including Uganda, and activists say few Africans are openly gay, fearing imprisonment, violence and loss of jobs.
Kato was also prominent in opposing the so-called “Kill the Gays” bill which is currently before the Ugandan Parliament. The bill, which could result in the death penalty for certain homosexual acts, has received world-wide condemnation.