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Zimbabwe: Judgement day set for Galz employee

in ZIMBABWE, 22/11/2010

The long awaited judgment in the case of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ)’s employee Ellen Chademana will be delivered on 9 December 2010. The trial of the GALZ receptionist ended on 18 November when she appeared before Harare Magistrate Don Ndirowei.

Chademana is facing charges of allegedly possessing pornographic pictures thereby contravening section 26(1) of the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act (Chapter10:04).

She was dealt a blow last month when the state refused to grant an application for discharge, which had earlier been filed by her lawyers. This resulted in the matter going to trial on November 12.

During the cross examination by her defense Lawyer, Jeremiah Bamu, Chademana told the court how the search began in her absence and was only called in by the police who said they only needed her to assist them with information.

She added that, she was not in possession of the alleged folder and was not aware of its contents.

She also maintained that for the two years she has been working for the organization she had never come across the folder.

“To my surprise when I got to the office, as soon as I got off my car I was ordered to switch off my cellphone, and I was whisked into the offices. Everything was in a mess indicating that there had been a search earlier on. I was notified by the police that during the search which had been conducted in my absence, the police had found on my work station a file written Gender Minutes 2006 and 2007 which allegedly contained a pornographic picture.”

At the end of the trial the defense said it would be able to make their closing submission summarising the case on 30 November.

Meanwhile the state prosecutor Rufaro Mhandu said the state would hand in their submission on 7 December.

Charges leveled aganist Chademana arose when police, armed with a search warrant On May 21 2010, ransacked the offices of GALZ alleging that the organisation was in possession of dangerous drugs and pornographic material.

She was subsequently arrested and detained for seven days together with a colleague Ignatious Muhambi, who was also facing similar charges but has since been acquitted.

 

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