Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga said
on Thursday that he's been misquoted and has never called for the
arrests of gay people, the AFP reported.
Speaking Sunday at a rally in Kenya's
largest slum, Kibera, Odinga told the crowd that any Kenyan found
engaging in gay sex will be arrested and jailed.
“Even women found engaging in sexual
activities will be arrested,” he added.
His alleged comments rattled gay rights
But on Thursday, the premier
backtracked, saying he was misquoted by the press. At a conference
on Kenya's progress since the 2008 post-election violence, he said he
understood “there are gay rights.”
In addressing the Sunday rally, Odinga
had argued that there was “no need” for gay people since the
nation was evenly split between men and women.
“This kind of behavior will not be
tolerated in this country. Men or women found engaging in these acts
deserve to be arrested and will be arrested,” the press quoted him
Engaging in “homosexual acts” is
currently a crime in Kenya, punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
Anti-gay sentiment in Africa is common.
Last month, a Uganda paper published the names and photos of the
country's “top” gay men and lesbians alongside a yellow banner
that read “hang them.” Conservative
lawmakers insist they'll approve a bill that would make being gay
under certain circumstances an offense punishable by death.