Zambia convicts two men for same-sex relationship

Two men have been convicted for having a consenting same-sex relationship in Zambia.

According to a report from AFP, Stephen Sambo, 30, and Japhet Chataba, 38, were found guilty of “performing unnatural acts”.

Prosecutors presented “videos and photographs” of the two men, while a hotel employee told the court she saw them having sex through a window.

The relationship between the pair, both of Kapiri Mposhi, appears to have been consensual.

The pair will be sentenced at a later date.

Gay sex is illegal for both men and women in Zambia, and can lead up to 14 years’ imprisonment.

The country’s leaders have taken a hardline shift against homosexuality in recent years.

Zambia’s President Edgar Chagwa Lungu (GULSHAN KHAN/AFP/Getty)

After the arrest of two men in 2013, the country’s President Edgar Lungu said: “Those advocating gay rights should go to hell… That issue is foreign to this country.”

The claim that homosexuality is”foreign” is ironic given the anti-gay laws are the result of colonialism.

Laws criminalising homosexuality are derived from the former British colonial penal code of Rhodesia, which outlawed sex ‘against the order of nature’. Northern Rhodesia became Zambia in 1964.

Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu (PHILIPPE WOJAZER/AFP/Getty)

In February this year, police in Zambia called on the public to help them track down two women who they claimed were in a lesbian relationship.

Officers from the national cybercrime unit started an investigation after seeing photos of the pair on social media.