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Monday, 29 May, 2000, 12:01 GMT 13:01 UK
Banana sex appeal rejected
Banana and wife arriving in court last year
Banana and wife arriving in court last year
The Supreme Court in Zimbabwe has rejected an appeal by former President Canaan Banana against his conviction on sodomy and homosexual charges.

Last year, he was sentenced to a year in prison on eleven counts of sodomy and abusing his power to sexually assault and carry out "unnatural acts" with men, most of whom were on his presidential staff during the early 1980s.

Banana, a Methodist minister, professor of theology and former diplomat denies being a homosexual but appealed against the convictions, contending they violated privacy rights enshrined in Zimbabwe's constitution.

The appeal was rejected by a narrow three to two vote.

Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay said, Banana used "his immense superiority of status to beat down the resistance of a young and inexperienced" police bodyguard.

The account of sexual assaults by Banana were "a horrifying tale", he said.


President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe
Mugabe says homosexuals are lower than pigs and dogs
Mr Banana who said the case against him was politically motivated, has exhausted all his legal options. His only option now is a presidential pardon.

President Robert Mugabe is well known for his hatred of homosexuals, whom he describes as "un-African", but speculation is rife that he may issue an amnesty to his predecessor as head of state.

Josephine Bennett, the lawyer for Mr Banana, said the former president was expected in jail later on Monday.

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See also:

27 Nov 98 | Africa
Manhunt for Banana in Botswana
24 Jun 98 | Africa
Banana trial ends
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