By Melanie Nathan, May 06, 2013.
5/7 Update: Today the couple has been re-arrested, now denied bail, and more charges added following another tip off from relatives.
We wrote recently about the police hunting for “homosexuals” in Zambia. Well its seems as if neighborhoods have joined in the cry to hunt out homosexuals and turn them into the police. Once arrests are made, the police will conduct medical tests to see if the parties have engaged in in sexual conduct.
That is what happens when you criminalize gays and conduct a campaign to “hunt” them down. Perhaps this is exactly what Scott Lively and Lou Engle had in mind when they crossed the U.S. borders and became missionaries of hate in Africa. The persecution and torment is spreading, as can be seen from this latest report out of Zambia.
Police in Kapiri Mposhi district in Central province have arrested two men for allegedly “practicing homosexuality.” According to two reports out of Zambia, Central Province Commissioner of Police Standwell Lungu has confirmed the arrests in an interview in Kapiri Mposhi today.
Lungu named the suspects as James Mwape and Philp Mubiana both aged 21 years and residents of Ndeke Compound. The pair have since been charged for having sex “against the order of nature contrary to the laws of Zambia.”
The two, who have been living together as a couple in Ndeke area and were arrested over the weekend after a “tip-off from concerned members of the public who alleged that the suspects were married.”
And then to add to their humiliation and what clearly appears to be an infringement on their personal right to privacy, the two were forced to undergo medical tests to prove the “act of sodomy”, as reported in the Lusaka Times:
“The medical tests conducted on the suspects at Kapiri Mposhi District Hospital proved that they had been practicing sodomy,” said Lungu
The Police Commissioner alleges that “Philip had been acting as wife while James as man in the relationship which has existed for some time now.”
According to the local report, they have since been granted police bond will appear in court on Wednesday this week.
It is the Minister of Youth and Sport Chishimba Kambwili seems to have added to the fervor and rhetoric with his comment saying: “The Government will help the people of Zambia to fight the vice with vigour.” “We don’t want Zambia’s children to be taught any vice. We will not tolerate homosexuality. Those who want to promote homosexuality in Zambia are wasting their time. If anything, we are planning to stiffen laws against homosexuality,” he said.
As we have seen in much of African press the media does its part in playing to the sensationalism and rhetoric surrounding such witch hunts, with captions such as that which appeared next to reports of this arrest – as can be seen from the above picture: ZAMBIAN Press uses this picture to depict the arrest of the two men – who have nothing to do with this picture. This picture was taken on News Years day: “Suspected Homosexuals – the one in green is male with “her” confirmed partners” reads the offensive caption.
UPDATED May 08, 2013.
On Friday, May 2, both men were released on police bond on the condition that they would not see each other before a scheduled court hearing on May 7. If they violated that restriction, they were warned that they would be re-arrested. Reports have come in stating that the men were rearrested after apparently being caught in the sex act, despite the conditions of their release.
PIC:- Members of the public gather outside the courtroom in Kapiri Mponshi, Zambia.
On the mid-afternoon of Sunday, May 4, a mob of people tracked them to a nearby public bar where they were having a drink. The mob, mostly consisting of their neighbors, dragged the pair to the Kapiri Mponshi central police station. Members of the mob claimed that they had the right to make a “citizen’s arrest” because acting President Edgar Lungu recently stated that all “known/ suspected to be practicing [homosexuality] should be arrested and be brought to justice.” READ MORE at 76 Crimes.
By Melanie Nathan