Witnesses against two men on trial in Zambia for homosexuality testified this week about the circumstances of their arrest and their interview by police, but gave no direct testimony about the sexual relations they are charged with.
James Mwape, 21, and Philip Mubiana, also 21, of rural Kapiri Mposhi are charged with “carnal knowledge of a person against the order of nature,” a crime that under Zambian law can lead to a 14-year prison sentence.
The latest Times of Zambia article reported on the testimony of police and a family member, but did not mention that the magistrate had closed the trial to the public, as other articles did.
The trial is to continue June 18 and 19, the Times said.
The article said:
Henry Shazala, the police officer who received the complaint against the two, testified that while on duty on April 25, this year, he received a report from Sharon Mubiana who said she had heard reports that her younger brother, Philip was staying with another man and acting as a ‘wife’. …
He said the complainant further said she ended up developing hypertension together with her mother who later died following reports that Philip was behaving like a woman. …
Mr Shazala said as Sharon with other people apprehended the two suspects, a Mr Wakumelo attempted to speak to them inside the house and upon hearing his voice, Philip accused him of “admiring” his alleged husband James.
The witness said Philip told Mr Wakumelo that if he was interested, he could open the door for him so that he could also have his turn.”
In an interview with police, Shazala said:
He asked Philip if he was married to James but he did not respond.
When he asked James, Philip interjected and asked his co-accused to respond and tell the truth that they were married and that their relationship spanned a long time.
- ‘Kapiri gays have been cohabiting’ (times.co.zm)
- Gays’ case moved from open court (times.co.zm)
- Zambia judge closes courtroom in anti-gay case (76crimes.com)
- Zambian pair’s sentence could be 14 years for gay sex (76crimes.com)
- Gay in Zambia: 6th week in jail for 2 awaiting trial (76crimes.com)
- Gay in Zambia: mob justice, jail until May 22 trial (76crimes.com)
- Homosexuality at issue in 2 trials in Zambia this week (76crimes.com)