Zimbabwe: Government case against leading gay rights group head thrown out

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A case brought by the Zimbabwean Government against the country’s leading LGBT advocacy group has been thrown out by a magistrate.

The chair of gay rights group Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), faced court on Monday as the organisation is accused of operating as an “unregistered” organisation.

Martha Tholanah, also a co-director of GALZ, was accused of operating the organisation without registering it under the Private and Voluntary Organisations Act.

As per a High Court order produced by Tholanah’s lawyers on Monday, Magistrate Donald Ndirowei said he could not interfere with the ruling that said GALZ was exempt from registering.

A warrant for search and seizure was also removed by presiding Judge Justice Chigumba.

Judge Chiguma said police officers had illegally searched the premises of GALZ, removing laptops, pamphlets and DVDs, on a tip-off that the organisation was conducting illegal activities.