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Zimbabwe: Juveniles to Be Flogged for Homosexual Act

(Mar. 30, 2009) A regional magistrate in Zimbabwe sentenced two 16-year-old high school students who pleaded guilty to sodomy charges to receive “moderate” corporal punishment of three caning strokes each, to be administered by a designated prison officer. In addition, the magistrate imposed on the teenage boys a conditionally suspended one-year prison sentence for five years. (Masvingo Bureau, Juveniles to Be Caned for Sodomy, THE HERALD, Mar. 24, 2004, available at

According to the Zimbabwean Criminal Law, any male who performs anal sexual intercourse or any act involving physical contact other than anal sexual intercourse that a “reasonable person” would find indecent, may be found guilty of sodomy and liable to a fine of up to or exceeding “level fourteen” (ZMD50 million) (about US$268) and/or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year. (Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act 23 of 2004, Cap. 9:23,§73.)Under the same law, for purposes of prosecution, individuals who are 14 years old and above are presumed to have criminal capacity. (Id., §3). In addition, the magistrate's court has the power to impose corporal punishment not exceeding six strokes on convicts under the age of 18 years. (Magistrates Court Act of 1932, Cap. 7:10 (rev. ed. 1996), §49(5).)