Kenyan Government To Charge  Suspect Over Murder Of LGBTQ  Activist, Edwin Chiloba

Edwin Chiloba

Photo credit: Edwin Chiloba via Instagram account

Kenyan Government To Charge  Suspect Over Murder Of LGBTQ  Activist, Edwin Chiloba

The Kenyan government is moving to charge one suspect over the killing of prominent Kenyan gay activist, Edwin Chiloba.

According to Africa News, Kenyan authorities have said that Jacktone Odhiambo is the only person who will be charged with the murder of Edwin Chiloba, following the release of four other suspects, who were earlier arrested by Kenyan authorities in connection to the case. Chiloba's murder, which occurred earlier this year, attracted a lot of public outrage, and was followed by an investigation by the Kenyan police force. Chiloba’s murder also inspired global interest due to Kenya's historical views on gay rights. According to Peter Kimulwo, who is the head of investigations at the Uasin Gishu County, said that the police have ruled the murder as a hate crime.

Kimulwo also mentioned that Kenyan investigators believe the murder was linked to a love triangle, because Odhiambo, who was arrested earlier this month, was believed to be romantically involved with Chiloba before his death.

On January 4, Chiloba’s body was found stuffed in a metal box that had been dumped at a road near the western town of Eldoret where he lived. Officers who found the box with Chiloba's decomposing body described that he was wearing women’s clothes, and his body was later transported to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital to establish the cause of death. Reports later confirmed that Chiloba had been strangled and had passed away from asphyxiation.

According to reports from Africa News, three of the released suspects were believed to have helped Odhiambo move Chiloba’s body from the victim's house. On Tuesday, Jan. 31, a magistrate ordered all three to report to a police station every month for three months.

Chiloba's case initially triggered a lot of outcry because the Kenyan government is largely conservative, and Chiloba's enunciated gay rights activism may have stood out in stark contrast to the ways of the Kenyan government.