A Ugandan police spokesman says authorities have arrested a key suspect in the killing of a prominent gay rights activist who was bludgeoned to death last week.

Vincent Sekatte said late Wednesday that the suspect made a confession before a magistrate. Sekatte said police will charge the man with murder soon.

Police insist David Kato's killing had nothing to do with his sexual orientation. Police investigator Ronald Gata said the suspect is an ex-convict whom Kato employed three days before his death.

Gay rights campaigners though have said they believe that Kato's death was linked to his activism.

Kato's killing comes after a year of stepped up threats against gays in Uganda, where a bill has proposed the death penalty for some homosexual acts.