Downtown Harare

Two men have been arrested in Harare after a shop assistant found pictures of them embracing on one of the men’s cell phone.

New Zimbabwe.com reported that the phone had been left at the phone shop to recharge.

When a shop assistant went through the phone’s pictures, he found an image of the two men kissing and in a naked embrace on a bed.

The men, identified only as Andrew and Esau, were arrested after a mob formed around the shop threatening to lynch them. Police are said to have struggled to control the crowd and protect the men.

A vendor who knows the men said that Andrew told the crowd that he and Esau had been out a few weeks ago and got drunk, with Esau staying over at his home.

“He claimed they were wasted and ended up behaving strangely. They both claimed they don’t know who took the pictures,” said the vendor.

Harare police spokesman Inspector James Sabau told the newspaper: “I can confirm that we have arrested two men who are assisting officers with their investigations following the discovery of a set of images of a sexual nature.”

While no charges have been brought at present, sources said that the men “are likely to be charged with crimes against morality, specifically sodomy”.

Gay sex, along with members of the same sex holding hands, hugging or kissing, is illegal in Zimbabwe with penalties of up to three years in jail.

In May, Zimbabwe’s Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay that “any person who commits homosexual activities will be arrested” in the country.

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