Suspect charged with murder of Kenyan LGBTQ+ activist Edwin Chiloba

Four other suspects who had been arrested in connection with the murder were released by the court.

Jackton Odhiambo, who si a suspect in the murder of Edwin Chiloba, being escorted in court.
Image: Via Twitter - @NationAfrica

On Tuesday, January 31, Kenyan authorities charged photographer Jackton Odhiambo with the murder of prominent LGBTQ+ activist Edwin Chiloba. While the investigation is still ongoing, four other suspects have been released without charge.

As reported by The Nation, Odhiambo, believed to be the long-term partner of Chiloba, appeared in court on Tuesday where he was told that he will be charged with murder. Authorities have ruled out the incident as a hate crime and are instead investigating a love-triangle motive.

“Following our investigation, we have established that four of the suspects are not linked to the murder,” State Counsel Anthony Fedha stated. “However, the first suspect, Jacktone Odhiambo, will be charged with murder.”

Authorities explained that Odhiambo will now undergo a mental health evaluation to establish if he is fit to stand trial and that he is expected back in court on February 8. Moreover, three of the suspects released by the court, who are all juveniles but are believed to have helped Odhiambo move Chiloba’s body, are required to report to the police every month for the next three months.

Edwin Chiloba was found dead on January 4, his body hidden in a metal box that had been dumped at the side of the road near the town of Eldoret. Following the discovery of the body, local police arrested several suspects in connection with the murder, including Jackton Odhiambo.

The activist’s murder resulted in an outpouring of support and mourning from the LGBTQ+ community all over the world. After news of his death first broke, many suspected that the killing was a hate crime, given that same-sex relationships are still illegal in Kenya and the LGBTQ+ community faces constant discrimination in the country.

LGBTQ+ advocacy group Pan Africa ILGA took to Twitter to share their condolences to the family and friends, saying: “We pray that his soul will rest in power as police continue to investigate the incidents that led to his death.”

They added, “We pray for comfort for his family and friends and all activists in Kenya. We will continue to follow this and provide all support to Kenyan activists as this situation presents a worrying environment for them.”

© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.