Ignatius Muhambi, the Zimbabwe LGBT activist charged with possession of pornography, has been found not guilty.
Muhambi’s lawyer, Jeremiah Bamu, confirmed on Monday that Muhambi was cleared of the charges as prosecutors had not been able to establish a case against him.
He had been arrested following a raid on the Harare offices of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), where he works as an accountant, on May 21. Police confiscated a DVD which they said depicted men having sex.
According to Human Rights Watch, the items that the state claims are pornographic are in fact educational materials.
On May 24, prosecutors added a charge of “undermining authority of or insulting [the] president” because the GALZ office displayed a placard that made a critical reference to President Robert Mugabe. This subsequent charge has not been pursued by the authorities.
Meanwhile, Ellen Chademana, the GALZ office administrator who was also arrested in the raid on the same charges, has had her separate trial postponed until 2 August.
The raid and arrests are widely seen as state-sanctioned harassment against the LGBT community in Zimbabwe where homosexuality remains illegal; with penalties including jail-time.