shut up or shut down

Kenya Cabinet Minister Esther Murugi Calls For Straights + Gays to Coexist. Religious Leaders Call For Her Head

What did Esther Murugi, Kenya’s special programs minister (pictured, second from right), get in return for telling a HIV/AIDS “Most At Risks Population” symposium in Mombasa that straight and gay Kenyans need to learn how to get along? Oh, just a whole network of Christian churches and Muslim leaders calling for her ouster.

Federation of Evangelical Indigenous Christian Churches of Kenya, a network of 74 churches, is calling on Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki to sack his cabinet minister “in the shortest time possible,” says the group’s chairman Bishop Joseph Methu. Otherwise “we shall not be left with any other option other than to ask those who care about righteousness and morality to demonstrate against her.” Moreover: “God will punish all forms of immorality despite who is promoting it and are at whatever level. We have observed Hon Murugi transforming herself to becoming a trouble shooter and one who makes statements focused on demeaning and antagonizing the faith community in Kenya.”

That criticism has been echoed by the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) and the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya. And lawmakers, current and former!

Separately, nominated MP Sheikh Mohammed Dor asked government spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua to issue official government position regarding Ms Murugi comment during HIV/AIDS symposium. “The minister is government and we need clarification from the Dr Mutua whether she was making personal comment or speaking on behalf of the government,” he told the Nation. […] Sheikh Dor also called for minister be taken through new Constitution to learn its contents saying her utterance is unconstitutional and could further land her on wrong side of laws.

[…] Former Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile joined in the fray on Sunday, terming the minister “unfocused” over the remarks, saying she should instead concentrate on resettling the IDPs. Said Mr Ndile: “Three years are gone now (since the displacement) and we still have IDPs [internally displaced persons] in the camps. Why should she concentrate on gay rights instead of focusing on these suffering Kenyans?” Mr Ndile who spoke in the minister’s constituency said she could reap more political mileage were she to resettle the IDPs than by propagating the gay agenda. He said he had personally experienced how dehumanizing it was to live in a squatter camp and would not wish it on any other human being.

Also dehumanizing: Living in a squatter camp, which are often lawless and ruled by those with access to food and supplies, and being further dehumanized simply because of your sexuality. Which, of course, doesn’t at all lead to the spread of HIV. Yeah, let’s separate these issues!

[Daily Nation]