GALZ Statement on Zimbabwe’s 40th Independence Day

GALZ joins the nation in commemorating 40 years of independence from minority rule. GALZ applauds the courageous efforts of men and women, past and present that have fought and continue to fight for the total liberation of Zimbabwe.

 

Simultaneously, GALZ’s 30th Anniversary is a real cause for celebration across the LGBTI sector in Zimbabwe and the region, providing an opportunity to pause, reflect and appreciate the achievements since its inception. Undoubtedly the founding members of GALZ could not have foreseen GALZ’s immense impact on the LGBTI community in Zimbabwe. Today, over a dozen LGBTI organisations are active in Zimbabwe providing various services to the community. The founding members could argue that their goal was achieved. We are proud of this achievement.

 

The three decades of GALZ’s existence have seen many transformations, breaking barriers, painful encounters, triumphant failures and jaw dropping moments. Against a background of being society’s scapegoats to deflect attention from glaring shortcomings by inciting homophobia, GALZ has fought an uphill struggle every step of the way to gain audience and recognition. We stayed the course and continue to chip away steadily on the structures that hinder our liberation.

 

We should not ignore the fact that the current legal system which oppresses our community in Zimbabwe was modelled on the Rhodesian system of domination. Section 73 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act is a Rhodesian law which has long since outlived its time and has no place in present day Zimbabwe and GALZ and the LGBT community should propel our efforts to have this archaic law abolished.

 

Despite the great strides taken to ensure total independence and equal opportunities for all Zimbabweans by Government and various stakeholders, GALZ notes that a large section of the population still experiences difficulties in enjoying the fruits of this hard-won Independence that they are entitled to as equal citizens in Zimbabwe. The immediate challenges the nation is facing in overcoming social deprivations such as violence, unemployment, education and a health crisis compounded by the global pandemic has impacted negatively on Zimbabwean citizenry, affecting ability to enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms which are a key tenant of Independence.

 

We call on the leadership to implement progressive measures which proactively encourage a culture of meaningful human rights protection in this country. In the coming months we will hold our 30th anniversary celebrations if we win the battle around Covid-19. We hope the nation will join the LGBT movement in celebrating this special milestone and channel collective strengths for the good of all oppressed people.

 

Aluta!