Reports have emerged that five men have been arrested in
Zimbabwe on suspicion of engaging in homosexual sex.
A 55-year-old white male and four younger black “accomplices,”
ages not yet released, were arrested in Harare on allegations of
committing sexual immorality, it emerged Tuesday.
Reports the Zimbabwe Mail:
The incident which has left Domboshava residents in shock came
to light when a bottle store owner suspected that something was
wrong after seeing the young black men spending money in an
unusual manner leading him to alert the police.
The men are currently detained at Domboshava Police Station
This report originates from the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation and has then been picked up by other sites. As yet
it remains the only source to have run this story, so a note of
caution is worth sounding.
Zimbabwe criminalizes homosexuality under common law
prohibitions on sodomy or “unlawful and intentional sexual
relations per anum between two human males.” The law also
criminalizes sex between same-gender individuals, allows for the
prosecution of intent to commit homosexual sex, and LGBT rights
groups in the country also face the added threat of prosecution
under the Censorship and Entertainments Control Act which allows
the government to prevent materials from being circulated that
are deemed offensive to public morality.
The country’s leader Robert Mugabe has frequently decried
homosexuality as a Western disease, even once saying “It
degrades human dignity. It’s unnatural, and there is no question
ever of allowing these people to behave worse than dogs and
pigs. If dogs and pigs do not do it, why must human beings? We
have our own culture, and we must re-dedicate ourselves to our
traditional values that make us human beings. What we are being
persuaded to accept is sub-animal behavior and we will never
allow it here. If you see people parading themselves as Lesbians
and Gays, arrest them and hand them over to the police!”
Lesbians in the country have faced extreme violence with many
suffering so-called “corrective” rape to supposedly try and turn
them straight — such crimes are often committed by members of
their own families or close friends of the family. Victims of
such violence, if they survive, have no means of legal recourse
because laws banning homosexuality effectively preclude them
from any court action.
We will continue to update you on this story as it develops.