Zimbabwe LGBT Group GALZ subject to further persecution

GALZ Chairperson summoned to appear in court

By Melanie Nathan, Dec 04, 2013.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 1.40.10 PMThe Chairperson of GALZ, Martha Tholanah has been summoned to appear in Rotten Row Magistrate Court on the12th of December 2013 to answer charges accusing her of running an “unregistered” organization. The summons was served on Tholanah’s Lawyer, Tonderai Bhatasara, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

Although the charge is not specified in the summons, below is an excerpt from the summon.

“On the 20th day of August 2012 and at number 35 Colenbrander Road, Milton Park, Gays and lesbians association being represented by Martha Tholanah, the co – Director of Gays and lesbians not registered unlawfully took part in the management of the group by gathering its members and control ———-(one word not clear on summons sheet) while engaging in gays and lesbians in contravention of the said Act”

The summons is a follow up from Thursday 23 August 2012 where GALZ that was represented by Martha Tholanah, the organization’s co-chairperson with running an “unregistered” organization in contravention of Section 6 (iii) of the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Act.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 1.35.27 PMGALZ stands for ‘Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe,’ the latter a country where LGBTI people are harassed and persecuted, and often the target of violent rhetoric on the part of the country’s long time dictator, Robert Mugabe.

There is a common misconception amongst many Zimbabweans that it is illegal to be homosexual in Zimbabwe. This is a myth since it is not possible to legislate against what people think, only against what people express or do. Nevertheless, with ordinary Zimbabweans and law enforcers being given carte blanche by national leaders to arrest homosexuals on the streets, many LGBT people in Zimbabwe live in fear of blackmail and being arrested for consensual sexual acts. GALZ has successfully provided legal assistance to many members who have been victims of state harassment or extortion. READ MORE


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