Chesterfield Samba, director of GALZ

Police have raided the home of Chesterfield Samba, director of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), following the arrest on Friday of two employees; suggesting that it is conducting a campaign of intimidation against the country’s LGBT community.

According to a report from the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, five police officers carried out a search of Samba’s house on Wednesday morning.

They allegedly confiscated Samba’s birth certificate, passport photos, magazines and business cards.

Samba was not present during the raid, but family members at the house reported that police asked about his whereabouts and when he would return.

The forum said that the conduct of the police is “unwarranted and is testament of the levels of intolerance within the police force and our government”.

It questioned the independence of the police and said that the action was based on “political instructions against the gay and lesbian community in Zimbabwe”.

On Friday last week, Ellen Chademana (34) and Ignatius Muhambi (38) – both employees of GALZ – were arrested for alleged possession of pornography and “undermining the authority of President Robert Mugabe” in a raid on the organisation’s office in Harare.

GALZ was founded in 1990 to serve the needs and interests of LGBTI people in Zimbabwe, to promote social tolerance of sexual minorities and to work towards the repeal of homophobic legislation.

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