WHY #JUSTICEFORSHEILA IS IMPORTANT

Two weeks ago, Sheila under the surveillance of a CCTV camera was seen exiting a bar on the 14th Friday and that was the last time they were seen alive. Reports open source democracy.

Sheila, a 25 years old non-binary lesbian (they/them) living and working in Karatina , Nyeri County was considered missing by workmates until found dead naked in a pool of blood in their house. According to the autopsy, Sheila had been raped, stabbed, had a broken leg, and was eventually dead through a hit using a blunt object. 

Not long ago when it was #JusticeforJoashMosoti a gay man from Mombasa who was attacked and murdered in his home in Bamburi, Mombasa in August 2021, then days later #JusticeforErica the news of Erica’s body in the streets of Westlands under suspicious conditions followed after. All these cases are unresolved adding to the other cases that go unreported due to lack of evidence or negligence from the police. Now here we are #JusticeforSheila.This is the very definition of queercide in Kenya and IT’S NOT A NON ISSUE! 

Since we picked up the story last week we have been vigilant in joining efforts towards the #JusticeforSheila campaign both online and offline through donations and giving voice to this issue. The queer community in Kenya will not be sidelined, we at BNA demand ‘Investigation Transparency from DCI and Arrests for Sheila Lumumba’s rapists and murderers.’ A petition through Change.org is an online platform that helps build awareness and support for a Cause by allowing one to start a campaign, mobilize support & work with decision-makers to drive solutions. So far, a statement in conjunction with Change Org Kenya, Initiative for Equality and Non-Discrimination (INEND), National Gay and Lesbian Huan Rights Commission (NGLHRC), Voices of Women in Western Kenya (VOWWEK), and Amnesty International Kenya as a call to action made to the DCI demanding success of the campaign. This initiative was started by our very own Communications & Research Lead at BNA, Muthoni Ngei with the guidance of the CEO Chris Makena an advocate for queer rights to push for law action against the perpetrators by DCI and relevant authorities as well as to protect the lives of queer Kenyans. 

Harassment, discrimination, and online bullying/threats have drastically gone up and there is a hovering blanket of fear of safety for persons identifying as LGBTQ+ persons living in Kenya. THE TIME IS NOW TO ACT. 

We are Kenyans deserving of equal rights, says the law. We have the law on our side, we want implementation.

A vigil was held on Twitter Spaces to hold space for the community on behalf of Sheila organized by Africa of Kismu Feminists Society.

On Wednesday, 27th there will be a memorial for close family and friends as Sheila’s body leaves for Naivasha. 

Sheila will be laid to rest on Saturday, 30th in their home in Gem, Yala-Launda, Siaya road on Saturday, 30th.

#JusticeforSheila doesn’t stop there. WE WILL STILL MAKE NOISE, TILL ARRESTS ARE MADE! 

Thank you for all in solidarity with the community liaising with the family for help through fundraising, everyone signing and sharing the petition, pushing the  #JusticeforSheila and #ProtectQueerKenyans started and inspired by Africa, an organizer for Kenya Feminists Society, media visibility around these inhumane injustices! This unity has even extended beyond borders: the fundraising and petitions bring a lot of hope to the course.

May Justice Prevail.

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