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Zimbabwe ConCourt Reserves Judgement on Criminisation of HIV Transmission

Two Zimbabweans are challenging the constitutional validity of Section 79 of the criminal law arguing the provision is too wide, dangerous and unlawful.

The Constitutional Court has reserved judgment in a case in which two people from Bulawayo are challenging the constitutionally of a law that criminalises the deliberate transmission of the killer HIV, which causes the deadly AIDS disease.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Lawyer, David Hofisi, told VOA Studio 7 the two are challenging the constitutionality of Section 79 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act arguing the provision is too wide, dangerous, unlawful and thus infringing on their clients’ rights.

In one case, state prosecutors claimed a Bulawayo woman unlawfully and intentionally infected her husband by having sex with him between 2008 and 2010 while she knew that she was HIV positive.

In the second case, a Bulawayo man is alleged to have deliberately infected his wife with HIV sometime between 2009 and 2011.

"Section 79 infringed on our applicants' fundamental rights not to be discriminated on any basis including HIV/AIDS status as enshrined in the Constitution," said Hofisi, adding that he hoped the court would rule in their favour when judgment is finally brought down.

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