Zimbabwe: LGBTIQ+ Group’s Offices Vandalised by Homophobes


Anti-LGBTIQ+ protestors defaced the offices of Zimbabwe group GALZ with hateful slogans (Photos: Supplied)

GALZ, one of Africa’s longest-running LGBTIQ+ groups, endured harassment and vandalism by a group of religious homophobes over the weekend.

According to the organisation, which describes itself as an association of LGBTI People in Zimbabwe, a group of individuals claiming to represent various Christian churches descended on its offices in the capital city, Harare, on Sunday.

They proceeded to chant slogans against homosexuality outside the premises and then vandalised the property, painting hateful graffiti on the walls and gate, including statements such as “say no to same sex.”

“While we respect differences in values, it is utterly unacceptable to deploy acts of vandalism and intimidation against communities who hold different values,” said GALZ in a statement.

“This act of violence has not been committed in isolation. It is a stark reminder of the ongoing discrimination and hostility that our community faces,” it added.

The organisation, which has filed a police report and is cooperating with the ongoing investigations, called on the authorities to hold the perpetrators accountable for their criminal actions.

GALZ Remains Defiant Against Hate

GALZ also urged religious and political leaders “to condemn such acts of hate and to uphold the constitutional rights and freedoms for all citizens to be protected by law regardless of their diverse backgrounds including sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.”

It further encouraged Zimbabweans to opt for open and respectful dialogue to address their differences.

The group remained defiant in the wake of the harassment, reaffirming its commitment “to ensure LGBTI people are treated as equal citizens in Zimbabwe,” and asserting that “attempts to deny our existence will not discourage us from further advocating for our rights.”

Established in 1990 as membership based organisation, GALZ endured decades of state-sanctioned intimidation and abuse under the late notoriously homophobic President Robert Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years.

There were hopes that matters would improve after Mugabe was ousted in 2017, but laws criminalising homosexuality, with penalties of up to three years in jail, remain on the statute books. Zimbabwe’s 2013 Constitution also expressly bans same-sex marriage.

In February, the government of Zimbabwe launched a scathing attack against a scholarship programme for LGBTIQ+ students offered by GALZ, labelling LGBTIQ+ individuals deviants and aberrations who should be denied access to education.

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