GALZ Denies Policy on Outing LGBTI People in Zimbabwe's Ruling Party

Published: November 22, 2011

A statement on the Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe (GALZ) website has rejected accusations made in Monday’s Zimbabwe’s Daily News which said the group plans to out top Zanu PF officials.

The newspaper had reported that GALZ director Chesterfield Samba had said his organisation would name ruling party politicians who lambasted the LGBTI community, yet engaged in homosexual activities with its members.

The GALZ statement read in part, “GALZ wishes to refute inaccurate statements attributed to the GALZ Director, which were contained in an article in the Daily News of November 21, 2011. GALZ would like to state that it does not keep a database of lesbian, gay bisexual, transgendered and intersex people in Zimbabwe regardless of their political affiliation. GALZ respects the privacy of all individuals and it is against its policy to expose any individual’s sexual orientation.”

The statement added, “GALZ’s position on exposing perceived lesbian gay bisexual transgendered and Intersex people is in tandem with human rights principles relating to privacy and non-discrimination. GALZ remains ethical and professional in its promotion and protection of human rights of LGBTI people at all levels.”

In a sensational article published in Monday’s edition of the Daily News, it had been reported that Samba had threatened “To publicly name and shame top Zanu PF officials and ministers who are allegedly involved in steamy affairs with their members in a move which could potentially plunge President Robert Mugabe’s relationship with his colleagues into a new low.”

The Daily News report added, “This followed weekend revelations that Mugabe could have been duped into signing into a law an Act which promotes rights of gays and lesbians whom the 87-year-old leader fiercely attacks as worse than dogs and pigs when given an opportunity.”

According to the Daily News, Zanu PF officials were said to be running scared following revelations by the Daily News on Sunday, that some of them promoted and crafted the repressive Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa), which recognises some gay rights in 2003.

The paper claimed, Mugabe reportedly signed the bill into law without realising that his aides had smuggled in recognition of gay rights.

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