GALZ: The sign of a victory

“I feel relieved and elated! Thank God! Today I will have a good night sleep in peace,” these are the words of victory echoed by Ignatious Muhambi a consultant accountant with GALZ following his acquittal today.

Muhambi was on trial facing charges of allegedly possessing pornographic material, in breach of the country’s censorship laws.

In her ruling Magistrate Sandra Mupindu who presided over the matter said that there was no prima facie evidence to prove the essential elements of the case which are possession, indecent or obscene and without lawful excuse.

She added that dwelling on the areas of dispute and controversy; the two state witnesses gave contradictory evidence and they also failed to prove on the face of it that accused had exclusive practical control of the office and therefore exclusive practical possession of the pornographic material in question.

“That the material is pornographic and can corrupt the mind of anyone likely to be exposed to it cannot be disputed. However the two state witnesses couldn’t refute that accused was not the only one who had access to the office and it could be possible that the material belonged to one of his workmates; in this case the accused should be given the benefit of a doubt. The state has also failed to prove that accused had mental or physical possession of this pornographic material, entitling the accused to a discharge and aqcuital,” she explained”

Muhambi a GALZ consultant accountant was on trial for contravening section 26(1) of the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act (Chapter10:04) . The police alleged that they found the pornographic DVD and booklet from the office drawers, which Muhambi was using when they raided the GALZ offices on May 21.

Meanwhile Muhambi still in a jovial mood was served with summons to appear in court on Monday 26th July on charges of Insulting or undermining the Authority of the President. Muhambi together with colleague Ellen Chademana are being charged for the Proclamation which was displayed in the GALZ boardroom. Former San Francisco Mayor Willie L Brown awarded the proclamation to the organization in 1997 for its activism and hard work despite working in a homophobic environment.