The head of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), Chesterfield Samba, has denied that his organisation will ‘out’ anti-gay Zanu PF politicians who secretly have gay liaisons.
On Monday, Zimbabwe’s Daily News reported that Samba said that GALZ “…will expose them for who they really are if it turns out that somebody whom we know has gay relationships comes out with homophobic statements”.
He was quoted as adding: “While we wouldn’t want to expose people because we do not have that policy, if a politician who is gay comes out with homophobic attacks we will see that as hypocrisy. If that politician is known to be gay and it is proven, only in situations like that we will be forced to expose them.”
Samba was interviewed in connection to recent claims that closeted Zanu PF members sneaked in a sexual orientation privacy protection into the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which was signed by President Robert Mugabe in 2003.
The Zanu PF party is headed by Mugabe who has railed against gays and lesbians, often describing them as being worse than dogs and pigs. He has also sworn to never allow LGBT equality to be included in the country’s constitution.
Writing on the GALZ Facebook page, Samba refuted what he called “inaccurate statements” attributed to him in the Daily News article.
“GALZ respects the privacy of all individuals and it is against its policy to expose any individual’s sexual orientation,” he said.
“GALZ’s position on exposing perceived lesbian gay bisexual transgendered and Intersex people is in tandem with human rights principles relating to privacy and non-discrimination. GALZ remains ethical and professional in its promotion and protection of human rights of LGBTI people at all levels.”
Gay sex – along with members of the same sex holding hands, hugging or kissing – is illegal in Zimbabwe with penalties of up to three years in jail.