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A St John’s College teacher in Harare stunned the whole school when he stood up during assembly and told students:

“I’m ga_y.”

Neal Novelmeier said he had made the decision to publicly declare his se_xuality in the hope that it would “curb homophobic behaviour” at the school located in the plush neighbourhood of Borrowdale.

“I simply feel and believe that as an educator I will be able to better address and advance this issue if I am prepared to be fully open and transparent about it myself,” he said in a letter, addressed to parents, .

The school’s headmaster, Cavaliere Corrado Trinci, deputy headmaster Andrew Sakala and Charles N. Msipa, the chairman of the school’s board of governors have been very supportive towards Novelmeier.

Homose_xuality is banned in Zimbabwe. Former President Robert Mugabe once said gays were “worse than pigs and dogs”, and new President Emmerson Mnangagwa told CNN in an interview in January that “in our constitution, it is banned and it is my duty to obey my constitution” as he refused to state what his personal opinion was on the matter.

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