Among the charges lodged against the
two gay activists arrested last Friday in Zimbabwe is insulting
President Robert Mugabe.
The men were arrested after police
stormed the offices of the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ)
rights group. Various computers and documents were seized by
Ellen Chadehama, 34, and Ingatius
Mhambi, 38 – both employed by GALZ – remain in police custody
Wednesday. Attorney David Hofisi says he has not been allowed to
visit the pair in jail.
On Tuesday, Hofisi said the men were
being charged with keeping pornographic materials and insulting the
president, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.
“Police allege that Chadehama and
Mhambi displayed a plaque from former San Francisco Mayor Willie
Lewis Brown in their office in which the African-American denounces
President Robert Mugabe's homophobia against gays and lesbians,” he
Mugabe's harshest criticism of gay men
and lesbians came in 1995, when he told a crowd including diplomats
that such people were “lower than pig or dogs.”
Earlier this year, the
president rejected a call to add sexual orientation as a protected
class in a constitution being drawn up under a power-sharing deal.
He said gay people are “destroying” the nation and called the
At least 37 African countries currently
outlaw being gay and anti-gay sentiment is common throughout the
Last week, two
men in Malawi were sentenced to a harsh 14-years of hard labor for
participating in a symbolic engagement ceremony in December.