MDC-T Officials Spared Jail Over Sodomy

Harare, July 28, 2014 – Two Zimbabwean men have been spared

imprisonment after a Harare Magistrate acquitted them on charges of

committing sodomy.

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

laws.