Sodomy is classified as unlawful sexual conduct and defined in the Criminal Code as either anal sexual intercourse or any "indecent act" between consenting adults.
The law also applies to heterosexuals, but not to lesbians. Same-sex marriage is banned by the Zimbabwe Constitutionand LGBT people enjoy no legal protections from discrimination, violence and harassment. Members of the LGBT community are heavily marginalised in both the legal and social spheres. As a result, many choose to remain in the "Mugabes stand on homosexuality statistics," commit suicide, or move to South Africa.
However, since Robert Mugabe 's forced removal from the presidency in NovemberLGBT activists have expressed hopes that their human rights will be respected. Homosexuality, same-sex relations and cross-dressing used to be accepted and commonplace in Zimbabwe prior to colonisation and post-independence anti-white government policieswhich in turn has spread the erroneous belief that homosexuality is un-African or a Western product.
Homosexual activity has been documented among the San peoplethe Khoikhoi people, the Ndebele people and the Shona people. The San peoplewho have lived in Southern Africa for thousands of years, were known to engage in homosexual activity.
One famous San rock paintingold of 2, years located near Guruvedepicts three men engaging in anal intercourse. In the 18th century, the Khoikhoi people recognised the terms koetsirewhich refers to a man who is sexually receptive to another man, and soreguswhich refers to same-sex masturbation usually among friends. Anal intercourse and sexual relations between women also occurred, though more rarely.
In these societies, homosexuality was not viewed as an antithesis to heterosexuality. Indeed, there was widespread liberty to move between the two, and engage in sexual activity with both men and women. Before battle, Ndebele men would have sex with each other, typically intercrural sex. Effeminate men in Ndebele society would often become healers and spiritual leaders. According to Marc Epprecht, homosexuality grew Mugabes stand on homosexuality statistics African men during the colonial era.
Even though it was controversial, arranges of pederasty began to show up in certain cities and labour camps in as early as The young men called ngotshana in Mugabes stand on homosexuality statisticsalso known as boy-wife in English would typically dress as women, perform chores associated with women, such as cooking and fetching water and firewood, and have intercrural sex with their older husbands.
In addition, they were not allowed to grow beards or ejaculate. Upon reaching manhood, the relationship would be dissolved, and the boy-wife could take a ngotshana of his own if he so desired. These marriages are sometimes referred to as "mine marriages" as they were common among miners. The five cases all involved black Africans. A defence offered was that "sodomy" was part of local "custom". In one case, a chief was summoned to testify about customary penalties and reported that the penalty was a fine of one cow, which was less than the penalty for adultery.
Over the entire period, Epprecht found the balance of black and white defendants proportional to that in the population.
He noted, however, only what came to the attention of the courts - most consensual relations in private did not necessarily provoke notice. Some cases were Mugabes stand on homosexuality statistics by partners who had been dropped or who had not received promised compensation from their former sexual partner. And although the norm was for the younger male to lie supine and not show any enjoyment, let alone expect any sexual mutuality, Mugabes stand on homosexuality statistics found a case in which a pair of black males had stopped their sexual relationship out of fear of pregnancy, but one wanted to resume taking turns penetrating each other.
Writing in the 19th century about the area of today's southwestern Zimbabwe, David Livingstone asserted that the monopolization of women by elderly chiefs was essentially responsible for the "immorality" practised by younger men. Murray Dale mentioned one Ila -speaking man who dressed as a woman, did women's work, lived and slept among, but not with, women.
The Ila labelled such individuals mwaamitranslated as "prophet".
They also mentioned that pederasty was not Mugabes stand on homosexuality statistics, "but was considered dangerous because of the risk that the boy will become pregnant". Common law prohibitions include sodomydefined as the "unlawful and intentional sexual relations per anum between two human males" as well as unnatural offences, defined as the unlawful and intentional commission of an unnatural sexual act by one person with another person.
Section 11 of the Censorship and Entertainments Control Actwhich provides that no person shall import, print, publish, distribute, or keep for sale any publication which is undesirable defined as "indecent or obscene or is offensive or harmful to public morals or is likely to be contrary to public health" has been used to harass LGBT people and activists.
Informer President Canaan Banana was arrested based on accusations made during the murder trial of his former bodyguard, Jefta Dube, and found guilty of eleven charges of sodomy, attempted sodomy and indecent assault in He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, defrockedand served 6 months in an open prison. Laws passed Mugabes stand on homosexuality statistics criminalize any actions perceived as homosexual.