This is what Kenyan journalist and gay activist Dennis Nzioka had to say to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission on William Samoei Ruto.
I want to bring to your attention the remarks that Mr William Samoei Ruto, the former MP for Eldoret North and current running mate of Jubilee Alliance (headed by Mr Uhuru Kenyatta).
Mr Ruto, in a televised debate – of running mates/deputy presidents designates – aired on all Christian TV and radio stations, as well as the national broadcaster, KBC, uttered the following remarks: ‘Homosexuals and dogs are from the same school.’
In addition to Mr Ruto, the other running mates all uttered negative, stereotypical and inflammatory remarks about gay and lesbian Kenyans.
The utterances by Mr Ruto amount to hate speech and inflammatory language designed to incite and provoke backlash and violence against homosexuals.
His use of the word ‘dog’ is tantamount genocidal lingo as even Kenyans who dislike or disapprove of LGBT people should be alarmed and disgusted by Ruto’s comments.
If a politician can dehumanize ANY segment of the population using epithets like “dog” (cp. the use of “cockroaches” In Rwanda in 1994), it means he is capable of genocide against any group he decides to hate.
The remarks have not been taken lightly. We feel that if there is continued ostracizing and fencing of the community or any coded attacks on any Kenyan’s particular identity or orientation is tantamount to hate speech and vile language. it is more so serious if the same is said or uttered or done by a political leader.
I call to your attention the volatile and sensitive issue of marking out (any) community at this time of elections and how this can lead to nasty consequences.
The LGBT community is in danger over his remarks and we urge NCIC to immediately and without delay initiate investigations into the remarks (and there is evidentiary proof of the same to back up the charge) and lead to prosecution of Mr Ruto.
We have likewise written to the political party/coalition that Mr Ruto is affiliated to and pressed our concerns. We have also demanded a retraction and an apology from Mr Ruto.
We hope to hear from you on this grave matter in the earliest time possible.
Gay Kenyan, activist and Voter
Feb 15, 2013