CARTELS BEHIND RISING CASES OF
Lack of jobs leaves most of the youth idle and many end up falling prey to the lure of fast cash from syndicates promoting homosexuality.
“WE CAME FROM POOR FAMILIES AND SO EVERY DAY WAS A STRUGGLE. SO WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY CAME TO MAKE SOME MONEY, I DID NOT THINK TWICE. MY FIRST CLIENT PAID ME SH5,000” - MUSA*
The rampant growth of homosexuality in Kwale county is affecting school going children and the youth.
As a result, nominated MCA Fatuma Nchizumo tabled a bill in the county assembly to protect the vulnerable children from issues of early sex and homosexuality.
The Kwale Anti Pornographic Bill is aimed at reigning in both locals and foreigners from use of children to satisfy their sexual urges hence spoiling their chances to further education.
Nchizumo had tabled the bill in 2015, but has revealed that county assembly speaker Sammy Ruwa had handed the bill to the children committee for amendment and later pass it to the assembly for the third reading. Recently, the bill was presented to the people of Kwale County for public participation and was received very well and elicited a lot of positive feedback.
Nchizumo argued that if the trend is not dealt with urgently and left to continue in Diani, it will deny children their childhood and future especially as it relates to relationships and marriage.
“We need tourism but not sex tourism. Homosexuality and training of young boys to foreign orientation is something leaders should not tolerate at all,” she said.
Nchizumo explained that the bill will restrict homosexuals from open display of affection since religion does not support same sex marriages or relationships.
In February 2015, Kwale county assembly adjourned normal sitting to discuss issues of homosexuality taking place in Diani. The motion was moved by nominated MCA Michael Mutua and supported by all members.
Mutua said young people were being recruited into homosexual behaviours by cartels who are mostly foreigners. He added that the nature of homosexuality is dangerous because recruited victims keep engaging in the vice all the time.
“Many of them are not even using any type of protection and it is dangerous if any one of them is infected with HIV. It will spread and the efforts put by the national and county governments to reduce HIV prevalence will all be in vain,” Mutua said.
Kasemeni) MCA Anthony Yama said that Ukunda depends on tourism but it has declined in recent years. “The lack of jobs in hotels leaves most of the youth idle and you know what they say about being idle. Most of them end up falling prey to the lure of cartels promoting homosexuality.
Nominated MCA Suleiman Nzala claimed that recruiters pocket more than Sh10,000 from each victim who are paid a meagre Sh1000 after the act. To them, this is better than starving and have no means whatsoever to support themselves and their families.
RECRUITED BY A FRIEND
Musa*, 24, reveals he has always been attracted to men since he was a teenager. “Growing up in Diani, I always felt different from my peers as I was never interested in women and had a more feminine nature. While I did not actively go looking to engage in homosexual behaviour, I readily agreed as curiosity got the better of me, and the money was good,” he says.
He recounts how he was introduced to the vice by a fellow peer who had confided in him about his sexual orientation. We were young (about 18 years), fresh out of high school and jobs were not forthcoming. We came from poor families and so every day was a struggle. So when the opportunity came to make some money, I did not think twice. My first time was hard. I had never had sex and so I fumbled a lot. My ‘client’ was a middle aged man who was to pay me Sh5,000 for the night. I was to give my friend half of this as ‘facilitation fee’. Easy money or so I thought.
Musa wears a forlorn face as he remembers a bad experience that made him almost quit. He had been booked by an old man who was to pay Sh15,000 for the night. “We met up in his hotel room, agreed on the price and got started. He did things with objects that I cannot even talk about and did not pay me. He ordered me out of the room or he was going to call security.”
What was I to do? Unlike a female prostitute who can make noise and demand payment, homosexuality is illegal in Kenya. Would I be assisted or find myself in jail? I had no choice but to leave. It has made me vet my clients more keenly. What about protection? Not using protection means a high amount of money will be paid. Yes, it is risky for me but money is more important to me. “Ni Mungu tu!”, he whispers.
Leaders have blamed certain tourists in Diani for recruiting young boys into gay syndicates shooting pornographic movies. Recently, tourist stakeholders, civil society organisations and politicians asked the state security to arrest and bring to book the people behind the syndicate.
Several youths aged between 14 to 25 years, some rumoured to be sons of prominent politicians in Kilifi and religious leaders in the Coast region, are said to have been recruited into the syndicate.
Msambweni Human Right Watch coordinator Mahmoud Barroh, Sands
Kwale nominated MCA Fatuma Nchizumo with Taveta MP Naomi Shaban during the election petition case challenging her win at Mombasa High Court on June 27, 2013 / NORBERT ALLAN