Zimbabwe Police Raids Home of GALZ Director

“Five police officers from the Zimbabwe Republic Police searched the house and confiscated Mr. Samba’s birth certificate, passport photo, magazines and business cards. Mr. Samba was not present during the ordeal, but the family members there report that the police asked for his whereabouts and when he will return,” said a statement by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Ngo Forum.

Police have refused to release two employees of the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) Ellen Chademana and Ignatius Muhambi who were arrested last Friday on charges of possessing dangerous drugs and pornographic material as well as for undermining the authority of President Robert Mugabe.The police alleged that Chademana and Muhambi displayed a plaque of former San Francisco Mayor Willie Lewis Brown, Jr in their office in which the African-American denounces President Robert Mugabe’s homophobia against gays and lesbians.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum said it condemned the conduct by the police in the strongest terms.

“The conduct of the police is unwarranted and is testament of the levels of intolerance within the police force and our government. Further the Forum questions the independence of the police in executing what clearly are political instructions against the gay and lesbian community in Zimbabwe.

“The Forum reiterates its calls to all civil society organisations to stand in support of GALZ as fellow comrades in the struggle for human rights, being mindful of the fact that such repression can easily happen to any organisation fighting impunity in this country. “

Lawyers representing the two workers were battling to have the two released on Wednesday. They applied for an urgent application to the High Court to force their release.