24 August 2012
The Zimbabwe Republic Police on Thursday 23 August 2012 charged The Co Chairperson of the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) for running an "unregistered" organisation after a week of high drama in which State security agents twice raided the offices.
Detectives at the Law and Order Section at the Harare Central Police Station on Thursday 23 August 2012 charged GALZ that was represented by Martha Tholanah, the organisation's co-chairperson with running an "unregistered" organisation in contravention of Section 6 (iii) of the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Act. Although the police indicated that they had not found anything pornorgraphic or insulting the Zimbabwean president in the documents, pamphlets and computers, as had been specified in the search warrant, they advised that they would not release the property until the case was over.
The police, who alleged that GALZ had commenced operations in Zimbabwe without registering its operations under the PVO Act, released Tholanah, who had since Tuesday been a regular guest at Harare Central Police Station in the company of GALZ Programme Manager, Samuel Matsikure, and her lawyers Dzimbabwe Chimbga, Tonderai Bhatasara, Marufu Mandevere and Jeremiah Bamu from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and advised the GALZ co-chairperson that they would proceed by way of summons. Tholanah and Matsikure were profiled, had fingerprints taken and mug shots taken for police records.
GALZ Security reported that, unidentified members of the Zimbabwe National Army on Tuesday 21 August 2012 raided the premises of the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ). A soldier, who was dressed in military attire and was in the company of two plain- clothed people visited the GALZ offices on Tuesday afternoon and patrolled the organisation's premises. After failing to find anything of interest to them they went through the caretaker's occurrence book and recorded details of people who had visited the GALZ premises in the past few months, presumably to trail them in future. One of them inadvertently left his mobile phone number, which was recorded by the caretaker.
Meanwhile, some of the members who were among the 44 arrested on the 11 th of August and released the following morning without charge report that the police in their localities continue to follow them up and questioning them. // Ends
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