Kenyan PM backtracks on anti-gay comments

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga Thursday said that gay people have rights and denied having called a few days earlier for all homosexuals in the country to be arrested.

At a rally on Sunday in the Nairobi slum of Kibera, Odinga was quoted as saying, “Any man found engaging in sexual activities with another man should be arrested.

“Even women found engaging in sexual activities will be arrested.”

On Thursday, addressing a conference on Kenya’s progress since the 2008 post-election violence, Odinga said he was misquoted on Sunday and his comments at the rally were not meant to victimise anyone “because I understand there are gay rights”.

At the Sunday rally, Odinga had argued that since August census results showed the national population was perfectly split between men and women, there was “no need” for homosexuality.

“This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated in this country. Men or women found engaging in those acts deserve to be arrested and will be arrested,” Odinga had said to cheers and laughter in the crowd.

His comments drew widespread anger from rights groups.—AFP

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