The ban on the importation of sex toys in Zimbabwe has led to a court case against the government. Sitabile Dewa, the executive director of Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (Walpe), filed an application in the High Court to declare the ban unconstitutional, arguing that it infringes on personal rights and is an affront to dignity.
Dewa’s application was prompted by the imprisonment of a female lecturer who imported sex toys from Germany and was given the option to pay a fine of $60,000 to avoid a six-month jail term. The court case named several government officials and agencies as respondents.
Dewa’s argument centered around the idea that sex toys are therapeutic and good for well-being, and that their criminalization infringes on personal and sexual freedom. She cited the Constitution’s provisions for freedom of expression and the right to practice and propagate thought and opinion in private, including sexual expression. Dewa also argued that laws against sex toys are intrusive and discriminatory against individuals who desire to express themselves sexually by themselves.
Dewa suggested that the government could regulate sex toys through strict licensing methods for adults, rather than implementing an absolute ban. She also pointed out that the ban has led to unsafe alternatives, such as using food items like bananas or cucumbers, which can expose individuals to diseases.
Overall, Dewa’s application seeks a declaration that the ban on sex toys is unconstitutional, and that devices for personal and private lawful sexual acts are exempt from the ban’s application.