Gay activist denies charges

2010-07-01 14:23

A Zimbabwean gay rights activist has pleaded not guilty to

breaching censorship laws.

Ignatius Muhambi, an accountant for Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe

(Galz), and office administrator Ellen Chademana were arrested in a police raid

at the association’s offices in May.

Muhambi today appeared before a magistrates court accused of

possessing pornography.

Both are free on bail.

Prosecutor Memory Mugabe said: “A search was done in the office

and one pornographic DVD and pornographic booklet was recovered from the office

being used by the accused.”

Mugabe told the court that both contained graphic images of men

having sex.

At the time of their arrest, the two also had been accused of

insulting President Robert Mugabe, but that charge was not read out in


Homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe, although Galz is allowed to


President Mugabe, no relation to the prosecutor, has rallied

against the gay community for more than a decade, once calling gays “worse than

pigs and dogs”.

In March, he said efforts to include gay rights in a new

constitution were “madness”.

Neighbouring South Africa is the only nation on the continent that

gives equal rights to gays.

Mhambi’s trial resumes on Monday while Chademana’s case will begin

on Wednesday.

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