Zambian men still in jail while homosexuality case delayed

By Melanie Nathan, June 02, 2014.

PHILIP Mubiana (right) and his partner James Mwape outside Kapiri Mposhi Magistrates Court on Friday. – Picture by CHAMBO NG’UNI.

Philip Mubiana (right) and his alleged partner James Mwape outside Kapiri Mposhi Magistrates Court on Friday. – Picture by CHAMBO NG’U

Two men of Kapiri Mposhi appeared in court, yet again, for allegedly practicing homosexuality. The case which has taken well over a year, should have been concluded on Friday with a judgment from the magistrate. Instead he was unavailable and the Court heard that he was unprepared to issue a judgment at this time. When the case is concluded it may deliver a landmark judgment.

Philip Mubiana, 21, a hair dresser and his alleged partner James Mwape, 21, a bricklayer, have appeared numerous times before Kabwe principal resident magistrate John Mbuzi in the Kapiri Mposhi Magistrate Court to answer charges relating to homosexuality.

Mubiana and Mwape are facing charges of unnatural offences contrary to Section 155(a) and (c) of the Penal Code Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia as read together with Act No. 15 of 2005.

Noting judgment is up to the magistrate Mbuzi was apparently “not available”, according to Zambian press and so the Kapiri Mposhi Magistrate in charge Ackson Mumba adjourned the matter to June 16.

The fill in magistrate told the accused men that Magistrate Mbuzi “had not received submissions,” but he could not state whether it was the prosecution or the defense that failed to make the timely submissions during the period given to both parties. So apparently the magistrate was unable to prepare his judgment.

The accused men have been held in custody without bail for over a year and are being represented by SNB Legal Practitioners. .

Earlier, public prosecutor Alex Cheelo said Mubiana and Mwape were in court and that their case was before Mr Mbuzi. However that was clearly not the case.

The charges:

Mubiana and Mwape are facing charges of unnatural offences contrary to Section 155(a) and (c) of the Penal Code Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia as read together with Act No. 15 of 2005.

  • In count one, Mubiana is alleged to have permitted Mwape to have sex with him against the order of nature between April 11 and April 25 last year.
  • In count two, it is alleged that Mwape on unknown dates but between April 11 and April 24 last year, permitted Mubiana to have sex with him against the order of nature.
  • Mwape in count three is accused of having permitted Mubiana to have sex with him on May 5 last year while Mwape also faces the same offence in count four.
  • Mubiana who was alleged to have been posing as a woman and Mwape as a man last year.

The men have both denied the charges. We are unsure as to what evidence was brought to the court, but we do know that the men may have been forced to undergo medical examinations.(see earlier reports below).

While it is hard to use the word “justice” when it comes to criminalizing human sexuality, this year’s long wait behind bars, shows a dilatory justice system and in effect the failure to serve justice in a timely manner, or at all.

There have been no press releases or coverage yet provided by LGBT or human rights defenders in the area.
nathan@privatecourts.com

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3 Comments on “Zambian men still in jail while homosexuality case delayed”

  1. jerbearinsantafe June 2, 2014 at 1:12 PM #

    Reblogged this on JerBear's Queer World News, Views & More From The City Different – Santa Fe, NM and commented:
    Spare some thoughts for those who are oppressed during this month of Pride…

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Marriage Equality Round-Up 6/3/14 - June 3, 2014

    […] Zambia: Two men are still in jail as the ruling in their trial for being gay is put on hold. full story […]

  2. Case Against Zambians Accused of Homosexuality Postponed Yet Again | O-blog-dee-o-blog-da - June 25, 2014

    […] Zambian men still in jail while homosexuality case delayed […]

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