Friday, 3 August 2018

Two Zambian Men Convicted Of Homosexuality, Await Sentencing

Sambo and Chataba talk to their lawyer Daniel Libati 
after being convicted -Picture courtesy of The Punch
By Paul Shalala

Two men in their thirties have become the first to be convicted of homosexuality in Zambia and they are waiting to be sentenced for possibly 15 years in jail.

This morning, the Kapiri Mposhi Magistrates Court convicted the two men of Ndola and Kapiri Mpposhi.

Kapiri Mposhi Resident Magistrate Ackson Mumba this morning found 38 year old Japhet Chataba and 30 year old Steven Sambo guilty of performing what the law terms as unnatural acts.

Passing judgement in a case which has taken exactly a year, Magistrate Mumba observed that the decision by the accused to remain silent after being put on their defence showed that they were guilty.

Magistrate Mumba added that the accused persons remained silent in the face of unchallenged, credible and reliable evidence from the prosecution.

He further said the fact that Sambo allowed his fellow accused Chataba to insert his penis into his anus is proof enough that the two practiced unnatural acts and committed an offence according to Section 155 of the laws of Zambia.

Magistrate Mumba said according to the law, both the person who inserts and the one who is inserted commit offences.

After the judgement, Sambo and Chataba were remanded in custody awaiting sentencing in the High Court.

On August 25 last year, Chataba was filmed by Kapiri Mposhi residents dragging  Sambo back into a room at a lodge were they allegedly had sex.

As they fought, Sambo was heard shouting that he was tired but Chataba insisted that they get back to the room and continue having sex.

A video of the tussle, which went viral on social media, was one of the pieces of evidence which the prosecution presented against the two including witnesses such as the workers at the lodge, a medical doctor and the arresting officer who testified against the two.

On 7th May this year, the two men were found with a case to answer and were put on their defence by the Magistrate.

On that day, the court was fully parked with friends and relatives of the two who came to hear the magistrate's ruling.

However, after being found with a case to answer, the two men opted to remain silent and instructed their lawyer Daniel Libati to file written submissions.

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