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Gays flee as irate residents storm Likoni seminar

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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba

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A mob on Thursday stormed the venue of a meeting of homosexuals, scattering the delegates.About 30 participants scampered from the Likoni CDF Youth Empowerment and Library Centre through the back when about 100 youth led by religious leaders and village elders forced their into the venue.Five Coast gay leaders, however, were not so lucky as the youths blocked the escape route and seized them.They were held captive in the building for three hours as residents bayed for their blood.The five were saved by Likoni police boss Abagarro Guyo and district officer Moses Ouma who ordered the seminar closed.The five were bundled into a private car and whisked away under tight security.“Everybody is ordered to vacate these premises. The seminar is terminated immediately and the place closed,” said Mr Guyo.Sheikh Amir Zani of the Muzadhalfa mosque described the seminar as illegal, ungodly and unacceptable. He threatened to mobilise the community to cane the gays if they organised such a meeting again.“The government should stop this or we will act as a community,” Sheikh Zani declared.Mombasa Network for Human Rights organising secretary Ali Kigarimbwe accused the organisers of denigrating the youth centre.Sauti ya Likoni lobby group chairman Hamisi Hassan Ng’anzi said residents were shocked that such a seminar could be held in their midst.“Many workshops of this kind have been held, purportedly to impact safe sex skills to the youth but they are actually business ventures.“Why is drug abuse on the rise? These workshops don’t have any meaning,” he said.A village elder, Mr Daniel Baridi, said all seminars at the centre should be vetted and approved by community leaders.“We established this centre to help our youth but it is being abused. We will not allow such activities,” he said.

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