Charges against GALZ chairperson dropped

Zim Lawyers for Human Rights members outside court

SW Radio Africa
27 February 2014

Charges brought against the chairperson of the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), for allegedly running an ‘unregistered’ organization, were dropped by a Harare magistrate on Wednesday.

Martha Tholanah was dragged to court by the state after charging her with running an ‘unregistered’ organisation in contravention of section 6 of the Private Voluntary Organisations Act.

But the magistrate ruled that GALZ is not obliged to register under the PVO Act after the High court late last year exempted the organization from registering.

The magistrate said the order from the High Court was still binding and he had no authority to tamper with a ruling from a higher court.

GALZ members have routinely been harassed by police and ahead of this case police had searched their offices and seized computers and fliers. The magistrate also ordered that these be returned to the organization.

GALZ was formed in 1989 to provide gay men and lesbians in Zimbabwe with a network to facilitate communication within the gay community.

Its objective is to increase awareness of gay rights and integrate these rights with other basic human rights.

With a President who says homosexuals are ‘worse than pigs and dogs’ this is an uphill task.

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