A Zimbabwean man who stabbed an acquaintance he claimed had hit on him has been allowed to walk free by a Zimbabwean court.
22-year-old Bongani Phiri was acquitted by a Bulawayo court over the stabbing incident which he claimed was provoked by the man’s ‘behaving like a gay’ and sometimes caressing him without his consent.
Phiri testified that he had quarreled with the man outside a bar on 26 October last year around 10pm after accusing him of being gay.
He said the argument had gotten out of control, leading him to pull out a knife and stab the man in the upper chest.
Phiri had been charged with attempted murder but was let off by regional magistrate Sikhumbuzo Nyathi who cited inconsistencies in the case put forward by state prosecutors and the witnesses they called.
Nyathi also said that he was not satisfied that Phiri had the intention of killing the man - and noted that homosexuality was a controversial issue in Zimbabwe in letting him off.
‘In Zimbabwe, the issue of homosexuality is a controversial one to such extent that it has drawn into the fray, the highest office in the country,’ Nyathi said according to Zimbabwe’s Daily News.
‘Some people are known to hold strong views on homosexuality.’
Zimbabwe is one of many African nations to criminalize homosexuality and its laws go so far as to make almost any physical contact between two people of the same sex a crime.