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Two arrested as cops storm GALZ meeting
12/03/2014 00:00:00
by Joseph Mashizha
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HARARE police on Wednesday raided a city hotel room where members of the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) were conducting a training workshop and arrested two officials.

Those arrested were identified as GALZ youth coordinator, Natasha Dowell, and training facilitator, Tawanda Mugudze.

Dowell was charged with contravening sections of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) by allegedly failing to seek authority from the police before conducting the “public” meeting.

Maguze was later released without being charged while Dowell remained in custody.

The remaining eighteen training participants had their details recorded and were asked to remain behind at the venue.

The group later left the venue freely.

Dowell and Maguze, together with 18 participants, were attending a training programme on basic digital story-telling techniques for multimedia content production organized by GALZ at Bronte Hotel in Harare’s Avenues area.

According to GALZ officials, the training also focused on basic mobile and digital security, including data protection and Internet security.

Tonderai Bhatasara of Mupanga Bhatasara Attorneys, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights is representing the two GALZ members.

The arrests came as police continued to closely monitor GALZ operations in the country.

The renewed clampdown on the organisation by the law enforcement agents is said to be motivated by President Robert Mugabe’s anti-gay statements.

Earlier this month, President Mugabe vowed to continue with legal efforts to close down GALZ.

He said: “I understand we have a group of homosexuals in this country. I didn’t know until I was told the day before yesterday. So we want to check on who is in that group”.

Again, speaking at a rally for his 90th birthday last month, Mugabe urged his country to shun homosexuality.


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