Gay man dies after his skull was pierced with hoes and machetes in horrific attack in Uganda
A gay Ugandan man was killed after being barbarically beaten in his home and pelted with pangas and hoes in an attack that has stunned the LGBT+ community.
Wasswa John, an LGBT+ activist, was, according to an anonymous source, battered by a group of unidentified locals in the Jinja district, a patch of eastern Uganda dotted with countless churches, fish merchants and rivers.
He spent two days in hospital where allegedly none of his biological family came to visit him. Activists said his family disowned him after discovering he was gay.
The source confirmed to PinkNews that John died of his injuries a day after the October 4 attack. His funeral was held today in Lugazi, a town in the Buikwe district in central Uganda.
What happened to Wasswa John?
The onslaught began at around 4:30am.
A member of the Children of the Sun Foundation (COSF), a Ugandan organisation that supports LGBT+ folk and sex workers in the landlocked country, John was violently jumped on by Jinjan locals in his home, sources alleged.
John was severely beaten and knifed. Attackers plunged pangas, a bladed African tool not unlike a machete, to pierce his head.
He was left bleeding in his room with around 10 life-threatening wounds on his head – some deep enough to reach his skull – as well as cuts to the neck, a doctors report stated.
The source, a community leader in Uganda, told PinkNews that John’s family “neglected him right from the day they discovered he is gay.”
They continued: “It is a sad moment for the LGBT community in Uganda.”
Medical staff desperately worked to revive John at the Jinja Regional Referral Hospital.
He was in critical condition and scheduled to have a CT scan, with COSF member tending to him by his bedside, wrapping him in home-brought blankets.
However, in the evening of October 5, the COSF confirmed on Facebook that John had passed away.
Local LGBT+ people reported the incident to the authorities, but community leaders are not optimistic: “Nothing positive will be reached.
“Security forces hate LGBTIQ persons with a passion,” the source stated.
LGBT+ rights in Uganda.
John’s passing comes on the same week that a high-profile Ugandan minister referred to LGBT+ people as “terrorists” live on a local news programme.
Minister of Security Elly Tumwine spoke to NBS TV and openly slammed a resistance movement against the current president, Yoweri Museveni.
The politician saved his most sharpest thorn for when he said the People Power, Our Power group “associates” with LGBT+ people, a damning statement in a country where being gay is punishable with life imprisonment.
Moreover, Museveni’s government has ruled the county since 1986 in a three decades-long reign that has shot salvos of anti-queer legislation out.
Non-vaginal sex is illegal under the country’s penal code and LGBT+ people posses little to no legal rights in Uganda.
A surreal scene considering that queer relations were commonplace and accepted in pre-colonial Uganda.
Change in Africa has been spotty and slow, according to activists, where pro-LGBT legislation goes vastly against the dominant current.
Earlier this year, two precedents were made in African courts.
In Botswana, LGBT+ campaigners packed courtrooms and cheered when the country’s High Court overturned laws that criminalised homosexuality.
Yet, just weeks before, the High Court of Kenya upheld those very laws, preserving the encoding of homophobia into its laws.
The two judicial judgments underscore the vast differences in Africa when it comes to LGBT+ people, where colonial histories and present day world-views collide and clash.