A Zimbabwe court has cited President Robert Mugabe’s homophobic views to justify denying bail to a ward councillor being held on homosexuality charges in Harare.
MDC-T Councillor Sydney Chirombe, 49, was allegedly discovered having sex with Joseph Muchena, 23, earlier this month.
According to New Zimbabwe, the men’s applications to be released on bail were denied by Magistrate Milton Serima, who is clearly an avid supporter of Mugabe’s warped sense of morality.
He said that the crime was one that “the Highest office in the land has denounced hence the accused could not be admitted to bail.” The magistrate added: “The offense is very serious, and has even got condemnation from President Robert Mugabe.
“At one stage the President said that a person involved in such an act is worse than pigs and dogs. The first accused is a Councillor whose reputation and esteem is expected to be held without any contempt,” ruled Serima.
He also said that the nature of the charges could make Chirombe a flight risk. “The first accused is likely to skip trial if given bail considering his status in the community. The nature of crime might induce him to take flight and throw the State case into disarray,” Serima said.
The magistrate further argued that the second man had no fixed address and could also flee and that he feared that the men would have sex again if they were released.
“The propensity to commit similar offense upon release is highly likely. The pair will most likely reunite and commit the abominable act,” Serima said.
Mugabe has openly attacked and vilified gays and lesbians for years and recently promised to further crack down on the community and the country’s LGBT rights group, GALZ.
Gay sex and public affection are illegal in Zimbabwe, with penalties of up to three years in jail. Same-sex marriage is also illegal, as specified in the country’s Constitution.