Attacked by Zambian mob, 2 lesbians must leave home

Street scene in Marapodi Compound, Lusaka, Zambia. (Photo courtesy of Muvi TV)
Street scene in Marapodi Compound, Lusaka, Zambia. (Photo courtesy of Muvi TV)

Two alleged lesbians have been forced out of their home in the Marapodi area of Lusaka, Zambia, an activist leader of the Zambian human rights group Friends of Rainka reported.
While walking in their neighborhood on May 2, the women were attacked by a mob of neighbors who accused them of lesbianism and living together as a same-sex couple.
Those residents “threatened to lynch anyone linked to lesbianism activities,” Muvi TV reported in an article titled “We’ll Deal Ruthlessly with Suspected Lesbians — Marapodi Residents.”
The pair was rescued from the mob by police, who arrested them and considered filing charges of homosexuality against them.  After an investigation, police concluded that they did not have sufficient evidence to convict the women, so they were released.
Police spokesperson Charity Munganga Chanda “declined to name the identities of the suspects due to fear of victimization,” Muvi TV reported.
Still, the women cannot safely return to their neighborhood. With help from their families, they went into hiding .  One woman is staying with a relative; the other is staying with the friend of a friend.
Under Zambian law, same-sex intercourse is punishable by a prison sentence of 15 years to life.
No charges were filed in this case, but Friends of Rainka expressed concern over the practice of  anti-gay mobs attacking suspected LGBT people in Zambia and turning them over to police.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

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