25-year-old Sheila was found dead in their house after failing to turn up to their hospitality work place three days in a row where they worked as a hotel supervisor in Nyeri.
Six men broke into their house, gang raped them and according to an autopsy, broke their leg, hit their head, stabbed and killed them.
Details of what exactly transpired on that fateful night remain vague with police investigations ongoing. Members of the public are however convinced that the crime was a homophobic hate crime.
Sheila was a non-binary lesbian who identified with the pronouns them/they.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community routinely face discrimination and stigma and efforts to decriminalize gay sex have been thwarted
In 2019, Kenya’s high court ruled against campaigners seeking to overturn a law banning gay sex. Gay sex in Kenya is punishable by 14 years in prisonment.
The heinous crime attracted international attention with human rights organization amnesty international through their official twitter account saying,” Nobody deserves such cruelty or murder. Sheila Adhiambo Lumumba deserves justice. We must make it so #justiceforSheila. So saddened by this,” Irungu Houghton. Executive director of amnesty.
IMAGE: Sheila Lumumba, a non-binary lesbian who was brutally murdered in her Karatina home.
Only last year, in a similar incident, a transgender woman Erica Chandra Kitula was found dead in Westlands. Her body had been dumped in a ditch along General Mathenge drive.
Erica was a member of ‘JINSIANGU’ Whose slogan is creating safe spaces for the existence of intersex, transgender and non-conforming individuals.
Even though details of what exactly transpired still remain vague, members of the LGBTQ+ community believe that it was a transphobic crime.
According to documented reports, between 2020 and July 2021, 83 transgender women, 35 transgender men and 27 intersex and gender non-conforming persons have been subjects to physical and sexual violence.
In this contemporary world, queer people should be able to freely express themselves without fear of intimidation, all life, despite differences in sexual orientation, is precious.
As a platform, Radio 254 will continue to highlight such incidents to ensure that awareness is raised, the world is made aware of what is happening in Kenya to Kenyans and to ensure this is recorded in history and Sheila Lumumba is not forgotten.
Rest in peace to the women who have lost their lives or similar fates across the country.
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