12 March 2014

Kenya: Duale Tasked Over Failure to Enforce Anti-Gay Laws

Photo: The Star
Majority leader in the National Assembly asks government to treat homosexuality as it would terrorism (file photo).

Nairobi — Leader of the Majority Coalition in the National Assembly, Aden Duale, has been given one and half months to deliver a comprehensive response to the House, regarding alleged non- enforcement of anti-gay laws in Kenya by various organs of the National Government.

This is after Kiharu MP Irungu Kangata demanded a statement explaining measures the Director of Public Prosecutions and the State have taken to enforce anti-gay laws.

Duale said he would need more than one month to investigate and file a report in the House, terming it a controversial issue.

“I need to make trips both to the neighbouring countries and to more developed nations, because I need to consult across the borders how this thing can be handled,” stated the Majority Leader. “Mr Speaker you will indulge me if by one and half months I will not have an answer then you will give two or three years.”

Kangata said that in spite of the existence of prohibitions on homosexual behaviour, gays have had leverage to operate with impunity in Kenya as the State appears helpless in cracking down on what they insist are illegalities.

He cited the provisions of Section 162 of the Penal Code, which prohibits same-sex relations and provides a jail term of not less than 14 years for those convicted of the felony.

“The Majority Leader should report to and inquire into; reasons for the non-enforcement of anti-gays laws, whether there are any organisations that are championing violation of the aforementioned law and if they are registered, what steps are being taken by the government to de-register or curtail such organisations’ activities,” Kangata demanded.

Section 162 states that any person who has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for 14 years.

Section 163 of the Penal Code states any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in Section 162 is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

The issue has gained prominence after Uganda enacted tough laws against gays.

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