‘When you plant a seed, before it dies it won’t produce’ – prophetic words from David Kato

The Coat of arms of Uganda
Image via Wikipedia

Some of us are very lucky, at worst we may get abuse shouted at us in the street. But in Uganda, you can end up dead as a result of fighting for your human rights.

David Kato, Uganadan gay activist and ‘grandfather of the kuchus‘ (as gay people in Uganda call themselves) led the campaign for gay rights in Uganda for more than ten years. For his beliefs he was gaoled.

Only three weeks ago he won a case against a newspaper that called for him to be hanged.

On Wednesday he appears to have been murdered for his beliefs: found battered to death in his own home in Kampala.

Last year David Kato gave a speech at the University of Cambridge entitled, A matter of life and death: the struggle for Ugandan gay rights. Please listen to it here.

As Sharath Srinivasan, the Director of the Cambridge Centre of Governance and Human Rights said in reaction to the death of David Kato,

We just need some resources to cause awareness. We have already done it in the past year. It is because of awareness that this Bill has come up and the dialogue is coming up. Although on the other hand I wouldn’t mind anyone dying. I have always told the people, these people when they come doing research: ‘When religion came to Uganda, before people died it never took roots’… When you plant a seed, before it dies it won’t produce. So some of us I know we are going to die. I know. But at least that will begin…

David Kato’s words were sadly prophetic. But let’s all hope that the seed that has been planted, and died will bring human rights for all in Uganda. Ensuring that those hard fought for human rights become the foundations of Ugandan life, like the greenery supports the shield and supporters in the coat of arms of Uganda.

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