GAYS and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (Galz) chairperson Martha Tholanah has been summoned to appear at the Harare Magistrates’ Court today to answer charges of running an unregistered organisation in contravention of the Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Act.
According to the summons, Tholanah unlawfully took part in the management of the organisation by gathering its members and continued to carry out its activities.
This is the second time police have raised the charge against Tholanah. In 2012, Tholanah was arrested over the same charge following a police raid at the Galz offices in Harare leading to the confiscation of computers and fliers.
However, on January 14 this year, High Court judge Justice Priscilla Chigumba ordered Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, Chief Superintendent Henry Dhowa, one Detective Chief Inspector Runganga, Detective Assistant Inspector Ben Justen and the Minister of Home Affairs to return the Galz property.
Justice Chigumba ruled that Galz was not obliged to register in terms of the PVO Act Chapter 17:05 as it was not a private voluntary organisation and was specifically exempted by the Act.
President Robert Mugabe is on record describing gays and lesbians as “worse than dogs and pigs”, and has blacklisted Galz members from participating at State functions.