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Zimbabwe Man Scot-Free After Stabbing Alleged Gay Man

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Thursday Mar 27, 2014
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Zimbabwe is among those countries with harsh anti-gay laws
Zimbabwe is among those countries with harsh anti-gay laws  (Source:www.pinknews.co)

Apparently it’s now perfectly fine to stab anyone in Zimbabwe, as long as you allege that they came onto you in a gay way. Gay Star News reports that 22-year-old Bongani Phiri was acquitted by a Bulawayo court this week over the stabbing of his acquaintance on Oct. 26, 2013, by claiming that the man was "behaving like a gay."

The court allowed Phiri to walk free after he testified that he quarreled with the man outside a bar last fall after accusing him of being gay. He said that the man sometimes attempted to caress him without his consent.

The argument got out of control, said Phiri, leading him to stab the man, Walter Kwanele Ndlovu, in the upper chest with his okapi knife. Ndlovu reportedly sustained a deep cut and was taken to the hospital.

Regional magistrate Sikhumbuzo Nyathi freed the man, who had been charged with attempted murder, saying that there were inconsistencies in the case put forward by state prosecutors and witnesses.

"In Zimbabwe, the issue of homosexuality is a controversial one to such an extent that it has drawn into the fray, the highest office in the country," Nyathi told Zimbabwe’s Daily News. "Some people are known to hold strong views on homosexuality."

"Some people" meaning Zimbabwe, one of numerous African nations to criminalize homosexuality with series penalties. Pink News reports that earlier this month, two gay rights campaigners were arrested just for convening a public meeting.

Raids against pro-gay activists are common in the country, which is notorious for the homophobic rhetoric of President Robert Mugabe.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women’s news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes about local restaurants in her food blog, http://brooklyniscookin.blogspot.com/

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