Man charged with murder of Kenyan lesbian Sheila Lumumba


kenya lesbian kenyan non-binary sheila lumumba murder
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A man has been charged in relation to the brutal murder of Kenyan non-binary lesbian Sheila Lumumba. 

Sheila, a 25-year-old non-binary lesbian, was found dead in their home days after a group of male attackers reportedly raped, bashed, and murdered them, local outlet K24 TV reported at the time.

Recently, a family member told openDemocracy that a post-mortem report showed Sheila had been raped, stabbed several times in the chest, face, neck and eyes, and hit on the head with a blunt object. One of their legs had been broken.

Family and friends described Sheila as “jovial” and “hardworking”.

Human rights activist Njeri wa Migwi described them as “beautiful, beautiful human”.

On Tuesday, a man was arraigned in court in Karatina town, Nyeri County.

He was charged with the aggravated assault and murder of Sheila.

A woman was also arrested but has not been charged. Sheila’s family claim she was allegedly found selling items that belonged to Sheila.

Calls for greater legal protection after Sheila Lumumba’s murder

Speaking to openDemocracy after attending the hearing, Sheila’s father John Lumumba said: “I can now see that at least there will be justice for my child.”

Gay sex is illegal in Kenya, and members of the country’s LGBTQIA+ community face rampant discrimination and stigma.

Sheila’s murder has reinvigorated calls for greater protections for LGBTQIA+ Kenyans.

A Change petition calling for arrests to be made in relation to Sheila’s murder has reached nearly 8000 signatures.

We are calling for necessary authorities to be transparent in the investigation information and charge the perpetrators of violence,” the petition reads.

“It’s not right to sit by and let a minority community be harassed [and] discriminated by a few Kenyans.”

If you need someone to talk to, help is available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at QLife.org.au, Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

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