TW trigger warning
Police in Kenya are investigating the death of young fashion designer and LGBTQ activist after their body was found dumped in a metal box by the roadside.
The body of 25-year-old Edwin Chiloba was found on Wednesday (January 4) on a road in Uasin Gishu County, in the west of the country.
Police say a motorcycle taxi operator reported seeing the box being dumped by a vehicle with no license plates. The rider reported the incident to police officers who were manning a nearby roadblock.
Officers who opened the box found the decomposing body of a man, whom they described as wearing women’s clothes.
Twitter DCI, Looking at his dress code, looks like this was Edwin Chiloba’s last supper. These are the same outfit he was on when the body was found. pic.twitter.com/HA1gnIwjdc
— Omwamba 🇰🇪 (@omwambaKE) January 6, 2023
Per Guardian, Homosexuality is taboo in Kenya and across much of Africa and gay people often face discrimination or persecution. Attempts to overturn British colonial-era laws banning homosexuality in Kenya have proven unsuccessful, and gay sex remains a punishable crime with penalties that include imprisonment of up to 14 years.
The motive for the killing is unknown, but LGBTQ+ rights organisations in Kenya are linking the murder to the victims’ sexuality.
Police spokesperson Resila Onyango said:.
“We don’t know for now why he was killed that way. Experts are handling the matter,” she said.
Edwin Chiloba was an amazing human. He was bold, passionate, his energy was immaculate. He embodied fashion. Someone murdered him cruelly, put his body in a box & dumped his body.
Edwin we speak your name. May yr blood not spill for nothing. Stop killing queer people. pic.twitter.com/aSgwyTSqnM
— Njeri Wa Migwi™ (@NjeriWaMigwi) January 5, 2023
“Words cannot even explain how we as a community are feeling right now. Another soul lost due to hate. You will be missed,” rights organisation galck+ posted on Twitter.
“Edwin was a loved and valued member of his community who used the platforms available to him to fight for what was right! This loathsome act comes as a blow to the LGBTIQ+ community and leaves us all reeling from shock!”, the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission wrote on Instagram.
“The murder itself was terrible, but the callous way his body was discarded makes the situation all the more mortifying! Edwin’s death reminds us that queer bodies continue to be under attack all over the country”