ZLHR: Magistrate Puts Brakes on Persecution of GALZ

via ZLHR: Magistrate Puts Brakes on Persecution of GALZ February 26, 2014 at 3:05pm

HARARE Magistrate Donald Ndirowei on Wednesday 26 February 2014 put some brakes on the judicial persecution of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) represented by the organisation’s chairperson Martha Tholanah by quashing charges of running an “unregistered” organisation.

Magistrate Ndirowei granted the application for exception to the charge filed by Tholanah’s lawyer Tonderai Bhatasara of Mupanga Bhatasara Attorneys, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR). In objecting to the charge of running an “unregistered” organisation, Bhatasara argued that the charge doesn’t disclose an offence or the commission of an offence in view of the High Court order which was granted last month by Justice Priscilla Chigumba exempting GALZ from registering under the PVO Act.

In his application filed on Monday 24 February 2014 and which was opposed by the State, Bhatasara argued that the charge of contravening Section 6 (1) (3) of the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Act Chapter 17:05 was vague and improperly constructed.

Tholanah had on Monday 24 February 2014 pleaded not guilty to charges of running an “unregistered” organisation when her trial finally commenced after suffering several false starts.
Magistrate Ndirowei ruled that GALZ is not obliged to register under the PVO Act and therefore the State could not prosecute the organisation as the High Court order issued last month exempting it from registering is still binding.
The Magistrate said he could not be seen interfering with a ruling of a superior court.

Prosecutors preferred charges of running an unregistered organisation against Tholanah in August 2012 after police raided and conducted a search at the GALZ offices in Harare. The prosecutors claimed that Tholanah unlawfully took part in the management of GALZ by gathering the organisation’s 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.

But on Tuesday 14 January 2014, Justice 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.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
6th Floor, Beverley Court
100 Nelson Mandela Avenue
Harare, Zimbabwe
Phone+263 4 764085/705370/708118
Email: info@zlhr.org.zw



  • comment-avatar
    easily fooled 8 years ago

    Iye chihuri vacho ingochani asunga dzimwe ngochani. Anoda hake hungochani ndiye chero asingamanikidzi mumwe munhu. Ivo zvavanodya vanhu takamboti kudini….ini handiurayi nekudya munhu sakaSukuwere…..kusunga here ngochani uchisiya mbavha nemhondi. Chinoz atove muParliament instead of mujeri

  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 8 years ago

    They are bullying gays while they allow their bosses to steal everything in the whole country. Who are the real perverts ?

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    Gomogranny 8 years ago

    Use of state resources to persecute Zimbabweans (be they heterosexual or homosexual)is the only offence that I can see here. A word of caution to those so quick to reach into Scriptures for quick answers to a very complex subject. Whether you know them or not, there are many GAY CHRISTIANS making daily contributions to the betterment of our world. Do please remember that the hideous notion of APARTHEID itself was based on ignorant but devout CHRISTIANS quoting straight from the bible as to why the “hewers of wood” should remain in a class apart….
    Your bible should be used as a path towards understanding, not bigotry. Do not use it to excuse your prejudices and your ignorance. Enlighten yourself….simply Google two words “Binyavanga Wainanina”

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      Reverend 8 years ago

      I tend to agree with what you say Gomogranny, but Christians cannot willfully continue in sin because they are saved by grace which they have accepted through Christ. My brother was a practicing gay until he asked Christ into his life and then departed from the act for many years before he went to be with the Lord.So being a gay is not a sin but the act of it supporting something that is an abomination to God is certainly extremely concerning.
      1John 5:18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin;
      In regard to the State making it illegal and trying to stop homosexuality by force because of the whim of the “dear leader” is in itself an abomination and an arrogance of a sick and depraved mind who cannot see that it has been part of humanity for thousands of years and he needs to keep an eye on murder, stealing, adultery and blasphemy etc first before worrying about the judgement of others.
      Unfortunately, like homosexuality, APARTHEID still exists in the minds of the depraved, as they refuse to accept the “WHOESOEVER” in John 3:16.
      But there again… Look at Zimbabwe, look at what is happening in South Africa, and look at Africa as a whole!? We are two clicks out of sync.! We need to get on our knees folks!

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        Gomogranny 8 years ago

        I am sorry for the loss of your brother Reverend – Also that he left you with your mind at ease. However I cannot help but be sad to think that the Bible is being used to tell Gay people that they are sinning by loving those who also love them. I find it interesting to note that it is always the most Patriarchal societies that shout the loudest against homosexuals. These very same societies also daily perpetrate the most base and heinous crimes against women and children as well. Levels of Gender violence and Homophobia appear to be strongly linked. Interesting coincidences wouldn’t you say?

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          Reverend 8 years ago

          I do think you may be missing my point here Gomogranny, as you spoke of “Christian” gays. We must understand that homosexuality is an immoral and sinful act according to Gods word and thus the demise of Sodom and Gomorrah. That may be where you get your name Gomo granny?
          You need to remember that Jesus said “I come NOT to condemn the world but to save it” and some sadly condemn themselves by remaining in sin against God. When one asks for healing, He will heal you because it is His Will that you are delivered from sexual sin, including those that perpetrate the heinous crimes you talk about.
          Maybe some scriptures that may help you….
          1 Corinthians 6:18 – 20
          1 ” 3:16
          Ephesians 5:3
          1 Peter 2: 24 – 25 Healing
          Gomogranny, God loves us all, yes the gays included, more than you or I could ever comprehend, but he hates our sin, and having studied the cults and spoken to many cultists I say to them – take time to research what you believe in the light of Gods word. Christ has given us the Cross on which he died for us,and by His stripes we are healed, and we can lay it all down at the foot of the cross and give it to Jesus to deal with, forgive us and heal us…I know it works. I know it works. The Lord bless you.

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            Gomogranny 8 years ago

            Reverend thank you for your input. Just to correct you the word GOMO means a hill where I live. I am a Granny who lives on a hill…it’s that simple.

            Your understanding of homosexuality as immoral and sinful comes from something you have read, studied and been taught and believe. I can appreciate, this is how most of us learn. This is normal.However may I just use a hypothetical example? If the bible for instance has told you that if you place your hand in a fire you will not burn it….and one day you tripped around your your campfire and reaching out to stop your fall your hand is thrown into the hot, hot coals and your hand is most severely burned. Only then will you truly know that what that Bible told you was very, very far from the truth.I have been fortunate enough to know several Christian homosexuals whose relationships with their partner demonstrate in every aspect the absolute opposite of sin. In contrast to their relationships I have known heterosexual marriages filled with such horror and SUCH SIN that would shock and horrify you. I believe not only does God love Gays he created them exactly the way they are. And their presence carried a lesson that GOD and DIVERSITY are one and the same thing…. WE MAY NOT JUDGE.
            As for you Reverend and me – We are both blessed, you by your God and I by mine.

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            Reverend 8 years ago

            Wow Gomo granny I happen to be an gomo grandad as I also live on a hill.
            Did you ever read the Biblical acount of Shadrek, Mesheck and Abednigo?
            I am not judging anyone at all, I only stated what I have read in the Bible,and maybe it would behoove you to reseach your Bible in regard to the subject. I have to base my faith on what the Word Of God says and any other “Christian” should do the same. I never wrote the Bible which is “God breathed” but I know and need to adhere to what I learn. Iknow we live in a depraved world of sin and the Bible says “we have all sinned and come short of the Glory of God” but we are required to rcognise and deal with our sin ask forgiveness and get away from it…we can leave it there.

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    Nyoni 8 years ago

    Zanu leave the Gay and Lesbian people alone. You have already violated our rights and you persist on such trivial matters. Get yourselves in order you parasites.