Harare, July 28, 2014 – Two Zimbabwean men have been spared
imprisonment after a Harare Magistrate acquitted them on charges of
Sydney Chirombe, the MDC-T party councilor for Budiriro suburb’s ward
33 and 22 year-old Joseph Muchena had been on trial since early this
month on charges of committing sodomy in contravention of Section 73
of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
State prosecutors claimed that Chirombe, who was represented by Harare
lawyer Shadreck Chisoko and Muchena, who was represented by Kennedy
Masiye of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights acted unlawfully when the
two men allegedly performed anal sexual intercourse in May this year
while in a vehicle parked in Harare’s Willowvale industrial hub.
But Muchena and Chirombe on Monday were relieved after being acquitted
at the close of the State case by Magistrate Renika Dzikiti who ruled
that there was no evidence produced in court to prove an essential
element of the offence.
The acquittal of the duo came after their lawyers applied for
discharged at the close of the State case after arguing that their
clients had not committed the alleged offence.
In denying the charge, Muchena, who is employed by Chirombe at his
night club in Harare’s high density suburb of Budiriro, contended that
the State which led evidence from three witnesses Obert Anovi,
Tichaona Nyamurondo and Rutendo Nyahondo had failed to prove a prima
facie case against him and hence no reasonable court could convict him
for committing the offence.
The State, Muchena said, had produced an affidavit, prepared after a
medical examination carried out at a local hospital, as evidence,
which clearly showed that there was no penetration while the State
witness’ evidence was so manifestly unreliable that no reasonable
court could safely act on it.
Had Chirombe and Muchena been convicted they could have faced
imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or slapped with a
fine or both.
President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party supporters are infamous
for their anti-homosexual stance. Mugabe has described gays and
lesbians as “worse than pigs and dogs” while in recent years, the Gays
and Lesbians of Zimbabwe has been banned from participating at some of
the country’s high profile fairs and meetings while its leaders have
been arrested and charged with breaching some of the country’s tough