- Last Updated on 15 August 2012
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Despite incessant calls for legislative reform, the government of Zimbabwe continues to enact laws that serve to incarcerate human rights activists and ordinary innocent citizens. There has been an increase in the harassment of gays and lesbians with shameless impunity in Zimbabwe. This follows the recent arrest and persecution of forty-four members of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) on the 11th of August 2012. The arrests happened at the launch of the GALZ 'Violations Report' and briefing on the draft constitution of Zimbabwe.
Debate on gay rights is not new to Zimbabwe; the homophobic regime of Robert Mugabe has sought to persecute gays and lesbians, just as it has sought to suppress anyone opposed to its misrule. The homophobic tendencies have led to violations of rights of LGBTs in in Zimbabwe and other parts of Africa., with some raped, beaten up, or even burnt alive just because of their sexual orientation.
Earlier last month the Director of GALZ, Chesterfield Samba was harassed by the police over the operations of GALZ and charged with contravening Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. The police claim that in 2010, GALZ displayed a plaque of former San Francisco Mayor Willie Lewis Brown Jnr in their office in which the African-American denounces President Mugabe's homophobia against gays and lesbians.
President Robert Mugabe describes homosexuality as "madness € and has often said in the past that gays and lesbians are worse than "dogs and pigs €. Since then, President Mugabe has increased the political repression of Zimbabwe's LGBT community, blaming them for many of Zimbabwe's problems. As a result, members of the Zimbabwe's LGBT community have been repeatedly detained and beaten up by security agents. Crisis Coalition deplores the arrest and calls for the Unity Government to uphold the rights of citizens under the Declaration of Rights and to refrain from harassing gays and lesbians.