Paul Kasonkomona: arrested for speaking out for gay rights
Zambian authorities have continued to crack down on gay people as they arrest a gay couple and then force them to undergo medical tests to assess if they had sex.
According to various reports, James Mwape and Philp Mubiana, both 21 years old, have been charged with having sex against the order of nature.
The men, from the town of Kapiri Mposhi, have also been accused of marrying each other and of living as “man and wife”.
Local media said that the suspects had undergone medical tests at Kapiri Mposhi District Hospital which had proved that they had engaged in anal sex.
Police said that a relative of one of the men had reported them to the authorities.
The couple have since been granted bail and will appear in court on Wednesday.
Early last month, human rights campaigner Paul Kasonkomona was arrested by police as he left a Lusaka television station for speaking out in favour of LGBT rights on television.
Kasonkomona was charged with “inciting the public to take part in indecent activities” and was only released on bail four days later.
Home Affairs Minister Edgar Lungu recently slammed homosexually as something alien to African and Zambian culture.
“It is a pity that foreigners have started bringing this thing to us now. We are on dangerous ground where people are bringing new things to us and we are watching. The police must do their work … same-sex marriages are not a normal thing,” he told the Zambia Daily Mail.
Lungu made the comments after four gay couples unsuccessfully attempted to marry at the Lusaka Civic Centre. Authorities refused to issue them with marriage licenses.
Consensual adult same-sex acts are criminalised in Zambia. Offences such as sodomy, or sex between women, carry a minimum sentence of 15 years or a maximum of life in prison. Attempts to have sex without being successful are punishable by a minimum sentence of seven years or a maximum of 14 years jail time.