Investigations into death of Kenyan LGBTI activist found in vacant house

Robert Odhiambo

NYAWEK, the Nyanza Western Kenya LGBTI coalition has announced the death of LGBTI activist Robert Anthony Odhiambo, 24, who was found dead in an empty house belonging to a relative in Kisumu, western Kenya.

Until his death he was an active member of Picture Youth Group. The cause of his death is being investigated.

Bob, as his friends called him, was found hanging in the bathroom of a recently built, but vacant house belonging to a relative.

He was found on the morning of Monday April 16 in Kisumu city’s Mamboleo Estate and was positively identified by his parents.

Speaking to Behind the Mask the Executive Director of NYAWEK Daniel Peter Onyango said, “We are very sad to hear about the death of one of our members Robert Anthony Odhiambo. The Kenyan LGBTI community has lost a hero. His death is currently under investigation and we are yet to establish whether his death was as a result of his work in LGBTI movement.”

Picture Youth Group is an LBGTI group based in Kisumu that focuses on drug and substance abuse in relation to HIV/Aids among MSM, Gay and MSM sex worker populations. It has about 22 members and Robert worked there as a peer educator and mobilizer. He was known for his ability to help individuals come out in a positive way.

Chairman of the group, Jim Caleb Okwiri said, “I received the news with great sorrow because Robert was instrumental to the success of our group. It is a big blow to the LGBTI movement in Nyanza region. He has left a big gap as he was a mentor and helped reach the Most at Risk Populations. The group is mourning. May his soul rest in peace.”

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