Zim Authorities Target GALZ In Renewed Judicial Persecution

via RadioVop Zimbabwe – Zim Authorities Target GALZ In Renewed Judicial Persecution February 22, 2014

Zimbabwean authorities have stepped up their antipathy towards the activities of gays and lesbians after summoning the leader of the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) to stand trial Monday on charges of running an “unregistered” organisation.

Police recently served summons on GALZ chairperson Martha Tholanah to appear in court 5 at Harare Magistrates Court where her trial is scheduled to commence.

The police claim that Tholanah presided over the administration of GALZ, which they have classified as an unregistered organisation in contravention of Section 6 (1) (3) of the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Act Chapter17:05.

Charges of running an unregistered organisation were preferred against Tholanah, who is represented by Tonderai Bhatasara of Mupanga Bhatasara Attorneys, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), in August 2012 after police officers raided and conducted a search at the GALZ offices in Harare’s Milton Park suburb.

According to the summons which were seen by Radio VOP, Tholanah though with the knowledge that GALZ was not registered “unlawfully took part in the management of the organisation by gathering its members and continued to carry out activities while engaging in gays and lesbians activities” in contravention of the PVO Act.

The search at the GALZ offices was preceded by instances of police harassment of members of GALZ while some materials including computers and fliers were confiscated.

However, in January, High Court Judge Justice Priscilla Chigumba ordered Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, Chief Superintendent Henry Dhowa, Detective Chief Inspector Runganga, Detective Assistant Ben Justen, and the Minister of Home Affairs to return the GALZ property. The granting of the order came after Bhatasara filed an application in the High Court in October 2012 seeking the release of the property, arguing that it was not linked to the commission of any crime. The Zimbabwe Republic Police had opposed the application and argued that it would not release the property until the completion of their probe and because they wanted to use the items as exhibits in court.

Justice Chigumba also declared invalid and set aside the warrant of search and seizure issued by Dhowa and executed by Runganga and Justen when they raided the GALZ offices. The search and seizure, the High Court Judge said, was unlawful and contravened the rights of GALZ as specified in Section 17 of the former Constitution of Zimbabwe and Section 57 of the current Constitution of Zimbabwe.

The High Court Order further stated that GALZ is not obliged to register in terms of the Private Voluntary Organisations Act [Chapter 17:05] as it is not a private voluntary organisation and is specifically exempted by the Act.

Human rights groups fear that by pressing ahead with the prosecution of the GALZ leader even though the High Court recently exempted GALZ from registering under the PVO Act,  representatives of the National Prosecuting Authority could be abusing their powers and bend on persecuting gays and lesbians in Zimbabwe.

President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party supporters are infamous for their anti-homosexual stance. Mugabe has described gays and lesbians as “worse than pigs and dogs” while in recent years, GALZ has been banned from participating at some of the country’s high profile fairs and meetings.



  • comment-avatar
    Gomogranny 8 years ago

    A little bit of Gay Bashing goes a long way when you need to distract the populace from the nasty issues of misgovernance, theft and rape of our nation perpetrated in broad daylight by a greed driven (heterosexual) elite. Oh and you have to target those Gays because they tend to be people who think differently and they have courage too…..very dangerous, very threatening these “pigs and dogs”…for they are NOT SHEEP.

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    John Thomas 8 years ago

    I have observed that those who are most vicious to gays are often least sure of their own sexual adequacy. If you are somewhere near “normal” there is no need to be mean to gays. They are no threat. Picking on the weak and disadvantaged is the primary indicator of cowardice.

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    Emmanuel 8 years ago

    There are many things Zimbabweans are divided on. Homosexuality is not one of them. The majority of us are either traditionalists or Christians. Both these religions are without equivocation on homosexuality. Anybody calling themselves Christian have to respect God’s command in Leviticus 18 vs 22. God calls it an abomination. The majority of Zimbabweans are firmly against this abomination. Just because some people are born with an inclination towards this does not make it acceptable. Some people are born paedophiles and others psychopathic. This does not make their behavior acceptable. Homosexuals must practice their acts in private and not try to publicise these issues which are unacceptable to the overwhelming majority in our country.

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    May be this is a condition. Albino’s we killed in medieval Africa. Are we still at this stage? Are gay people stopping Zimbabwe from going forward? Do not get deviated from the real problem. Gay people have always been there. They are not the topic. The topic is the evilness of Zanu pf.

    • comment-avatar
      Emmanuel 8 years ago

      There are many issues affecting our country that require attention including corruption, theft, immorality, decadence, homosexuality etc. I am suggesting that homosexuals sodomise each other in private and keep their issues private as much as so called straight people do not form sexual clubs. I never suggested killing these people. As for Albinism this is a recognised abnormality for which various remedies are in place. I feel it is not appropriate to compare Albinism with homosexuality which was rejected by the Almighty Himself.

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    Harry 8 years ago

    The authorities r only pressing on with the prosecution of gays and lesbians on the sole instruction of “birthday boy”who couldnt give a hoot about any constitution.His homo phobia comes from the time of his incarceration,when he was probably seen as a “PRETTY BOY “and lusted after.A good enough reason to now kick them hard=payback time.