Police in Zambia have called on the public to assist in tracking down and arresting two women said to be in a lesbian relationship.
It appears that the authorities launched the which-hunt after a homophobic “online journalist” posted images of the alleged couple on Facebook.
According to local media, Chanda John Chimba has been using his social media account to “expose” gays and lesbians.
The photos seen by Mambaonline show the fully-clothed women posing for various innocuous and non-sexual selfies together. One image shows a woman simply resting her head on another’s chest.
Police spokesperson Ester Katongo confirmed in a statement that officers are now looking for the women.
She said that under the law “any female who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with a female child or person.”
Katongo further pointed out that “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” is also illegal and that the women could face jail sentences of between seven years and life.
She revealed that the police’s cybercrime unit is investigating the claims against the alleged couple.
“We therefore call upon people with information that may be helpful in the investigations to report to any nearest Police Station so that perpetrators are brought to book,” Katongo said.
The Zambian media have shamefully made the police’s work much easier by widely circulating the photos of the two women.
Zambiareports.com reported that Facebook has since deleted the account of Chimba, the man who posted the pictures, for targeting LGBTQ people.
He has in turn slammed the company and demanded that his account be reinstated. “Zambia is a country of rules and laws. Homosexuality is against our laws as a country and is against our traditional norms as Zambians,” he was quoted as saying.
“I will appeal to the decision by Facebook to delete my account but will also not stop to speak against homosexuality,” Chimba added.
In addition to condemning the country’s ban on consensual adult same-sex acts, Human Rights Watch has listed Zambia as one of the nations that make use of forced anal exams as evidence in cases of male homosexuality.