|Stephane Tchakam, Charge de Communication Pan Africa ILGA|
It does not rain, but it pours for the GALZ duo, who are facing charges of allegedly possessing pornographic material as they are likely to stand trial on a second charge of undermining the authority of President Robert Mugabe.
In a letter given to representing lawyers by state prosecutor Memory Mukapa the two Ellen Chademana and Ignatious Muhambi are being accused of contravening Section 33(2) (ii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9:23(undermining authority of or insulting President) ARW Section 277(4) &(5) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act.
“One of them unlawfully and intentionally undermined the authority of the President Robert Mugabe by publicly displaying a proclamation in their office reception, which is a public offence, stating that Willie L Brown Junior Condemns the homophobia of President Mugabe and the Zimbabwean Government and also expressing his support for GALZ whilst the President is against that,” the letter reads.
The proclamation that they are being accused of displaying was a declaration awarded to GALZ for its activism and hard work despite the homophobic environment, by former San Fransisco Mayor Willie L Brown.
The two GALZ employees were served with summons to stand trial two weeks ago, but they are yet to be served with the new summons informing them of the exact date for trial as they are currently on trial for other charges of contravening the country’s censorship laws.
Meanwhile Muhambi is now awaiting the Magistrate’s ruling on the application for discharge, filed by his lawyers on the 12 July after the state had closed its case. His fate will be decided on the 23 July.
Chademana is yet to stand trial for the first time on the 19 July.
Muhambi and Chademana were arrested and detained for nearly a week in custody.
Police raided the GALZ office in May alleging that the organisation was in possession of dangerous drugs and pornographic material.