Back to Top

Arrested GALZ employees allege torture by Zimbabwe police

ZLHR LogoUpdate: 27 May 2010 - The two members of the gay rights group Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, who were arrested last week after a raid on their offices, were finally released on $200 bail each on Thursday by a magistrate’s court.

Ellen Chademana and Ignatius Muhambi, who are facing charges of ‘insulting the office of the President’ and for allegedly possessing ‘pornographic material’ are expected back in court for their remand hearing on June 10th. Lawyer David Hofisi said they also filed an urgent High Court application to see if the long period they stayed in custody was lawful, and the State now has 10 working days to file opposing papers.(Via SWRA)

ZLHR Press Release - 26 May: Two Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) employees on Wednesday 26 May 2010 alleged that police severely tortured them in their holding cells.

David Hofisi and Dzimbabwe Chimbga, the lawyers representing the two employees Ellen Chademana and Ignatius Mhambi told Harare Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi that their clients were tortured during their detention in police cells and asked for an investigation into the alleged torture.

Mhambi alleged that police used empty soft drinks bottles to assault him on his knees and forced him to “sit” in a position without a chair or any other tool for a long period. Chademana said the police also forced her to undertake the same action for a long period.

Both detainees allege that they were subjected to assaults all over their bodies.

Hofisi applied for the release of Mhambi and Chademana on bail arguing that the two were suitable candidates for bail.

But Magistrate Mutevedzi rolled over the bail application to Thursday 27 May 2010 after State Prosecutor Bruce Tokwe requested for a postponement of the bail application to acquaint himself with the facts of the matter.

Magistrate Mutevedzi initially ordered the police to surrender the two GALZ employees to Harare Remand Prison. However the police indicated that they would not be able to transfer the duo, forcing Magistrate Mutevedzi to publicly caution the police to only detain the two employees in police cells and not to torture or assault them whilst in cells until Thursday morning when they are supposed to be brought to court for the finalization of the bail application.

Meanwhile High Court Judge, Justice Joseph Musakwa will on Thursday 27 May at 14:15hrs preside over an Urgent Chamber Application filed by Chademana and Mhambi’s lawyers seeking their release. In their application the lawyers have requested the Officer in Charge of CID Drugs, only identified as Chibvuma, and Detective Inspector Gomo to release the two GALZ employees from the custody of the police because their arrest and detention is unlawful.

The lawyers argue that the arrest and detention of the two GALZ employees is now beyond the statutory 48 hour period provided for by Section 32 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (Chapter 9:07).

The Urgent Chamber Application was filed at the High Court in Harare on Tuesday 25 May 2010 at 13:00hrs. The Duty Judge, Justice Lavender Makoni, after asking the clerk to read the Certificate of Urgency to her over the telephone, stated that the matter “could wait” until the following day. It was following this delay that police unlawfully removed Chademana and Mhambi from their police holding cell and subjected them to the assaults described above, which amount to torture under the Constitution of Zimbabwe and various regional and international instruments to which Zimbabwe has become a voluntary State Party.

The concerns were raised in a letter to the Judge President, Justice George Chiweshe, and by way of a Supplementary Affidavit filed in the High Court by the detainees’ lawyer, Dzimbabwe Chimbga. An urgent set-down of the matter for today was requested in light of the safety and security concerns; however the High Court saw it fit to delay the matter further, to Thursday afternoon.

The GALZ employees were arrested on Friday 21 May 2010 and charged with being in possession of obscene, indecent or prohibited articles in breach of Section 26 (1) (b) of the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act chapter 10:04. On Monday 24 May 2010 the police also charged the two with contravening Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly undermining the authority of President.


tc says:

It's disgusting for people who have done no harm to anyone to be subjected to this and to imagine that their torturers will probably never receive any kind of punishment. Frightening.

Submitted by tc on 27 May 2010 - 11:53am
pat says:

Let it to be GOD to judge not u!!!!!!!!!!! - how many sins did u commit and God stil said u a my son so who a u to mistreat God's creation!

Submitted by pat on 28 May 2010 - 7:09pm
Tess says:

This is an outrage! Who the hell is responsible for starting this frightening witch hunt on these vulnerable people. We better find out soon because it won't be long before they get to the next country and the next one...

Submitted by Tess on 29 May 2010 - 10:45pm
Tiny says:

How anyone can condone this behavior is beyond me. How anyone can justify it.. it makes me sick. To know that this is only a fraction of the abuse and suffering so many others are experiencing and yet there is virtually nothing we can really do about it! Those who instigate this behavior should experience it themselves tenfold, disgusting.

Submitted by Tiny on 13 June 2010 - 8:16am
ROBOT says:

Mugabe always picks on the weak and vulnereable. Looked for someone to blame for his own incompetence ways and his roles in that of murder abduction and thuggish behaviour
Gay People in Zimbabwe should be proud that they dont act like him and are peaceful loving people.

Its the criminals and theives and murderers who the Police should be after not wasting time on Gays. (I didnt know there were any Gay People in Zimbabwe until Mugabe advertised them so blatently to the world)

Submitted by ROBOT on 20 June 2010 - 9:44pm

Add new comment

  • Articles
  • Reports
Zimbabwe farmers
IntroductionThis is my last article in this series and I have given...
Sunday, 25 May 2014 - 1:01pm
rural farm Zimbabwe
SummaryThis final article examines the importance of land policy for...
Wednesday, 7 May 2014 - 10:31am
Zimbabwe farmer
IntroductionIn this 11th of 12 articles, I bring the issue of land in...
Tuesday, 6 May 2014 - 7:22pm
cattle herder - Zimbabwe
IntroductionIn this 10th of 12 articles I focus on the need to...
Thursday, 28 November 2013 - 11:02am
Zimbabwe smallholding
SummaryThe debate on land tenure has reached an impasse. A...
Tuesday, 12 November 2013 - 7:31pm
Zanupf Rally, 2013
In a reworked narrative on nationalism, veterans were cast as the...
Wednesday, 2 October 2013 - 11:03am
Note to all: please contact if you have...
Monday, 19 August 2013 - 10:10am
I was ten years old when my two best friends were murdered. I can...
Monday, 5 August 2013 - 3:16pm
ZEC Zimbabwe Voter Registration billboard
In Zimbabwe Election Watch Issue 3 we discussed The President's...
Thursday, 27 June 2013 - 3:46pm
The South African weekly newspaper, the Mail & Guardian,...
Monday, 10 June 2013 - 2:55pm
Simba Makoni, Morgan Tsvangirai, Dumiso Dabengwa
Zimbabwe Election Watch Issue 3 is written in the wake of a...
Thursday, 6 June 2013 - 11:36am
February 2013 has come and gone, bringing with it yet another set of...
Tuesday, 21 May 2013 - 8:51am
A woman waits to obtain her national identity card during a voter registration drive in Harare May 9, 2013
Issue 2 of Zimbabwe Election Watch (ZEW) continues Sokwanele's...
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 - 9:31am
We are Zimbabwe logo
Have you ever sat down to read the newspaper, perhaps during your...
Monday, 29 April 2013 - 9:58am
Beatrice Mtetwa exiting a police vehicle
We are launching Zimbabwe Election Watch 2013 on Independence Day....
Thursday, 18 April 2013 - 8:06am

21.08.2013 Judge Bhunu under fire for call to arrest Tsvangirai’s lawyers SW Radio Africa (ZW)
20.08.2013 MDC-T stab victim ‘lucky to be alive’ SW Radio Africa (ZW)
19.08.2013 MDC-T under attack in Mugabe’s home district SW Radio Africa (ZW)
16.08.2013 Tsvangirai withdraws Presidential Polls Challenge SW Radio Africa (ZW)
16.08.2013 Concern raised as women and children flee ZANU PF violence SW Radio Africa (ZW)
15.08.2013 Binga villagers in fear as ZPF retribution continues SW Radio Africa (ZW)
15.08.2013 Judge defers ruling on Tsvangirai’s election records request SW Radio Africa (ZW)
15.08.2013 Tsvangirai MDC Says Mozambicans Voted in Zimbabwe Polls VOANews (USA)
15.08.2013 Villagers threatened over elections Zimbabwean, The (ZW)
15.08.2013 Increasing political retribution against MDC-T supporters SW Radio Africa (ZW)
14.08.2013 Komichi trial date finally set as lawyers prepare fresh bail appeal SW Radio Africa (ZW)
14.08.2013 Tsvangirai presidential challenge to be heard Saturday SW Radio Africa (ZW)
13.08.2013 Mugabe criticized for hate speech on Heroes Day SW Radio Africa (ZW)
13.08.2013 SABC journalists held for filming ‘Freedom Square’ SW Radio Africa (ZW)
13.08.2013 Police refuse to assist threatened headman in Chimanimani SW Radio Africa (ZW)
12.08.2013 Mberengwa women left half-naked by ZANU PF activists SW Radio Africa (ZW)
12.08.2013 Timba kick-starts fight to have Mt Pleasant poll result annulled SW Radio Africa (ZW)
10.08.2013 Nikuv paid $10 million to rig polls - MDC-T Nehanda Radio
09.08.2013 Police search MDC-T Chikomba office as ZPF retribution continues SW Radio Africa (ZW)
09.08.2013 Tsvangirai files ConCourt presidential appeal SW Radio Africa (ZW)

Latest comments

Mourning the loss of hope and security in the wake of a shamelessly stolen election: what can we do?

Kenneth Donald : 09 August 2013

Bless you Rose for your gracious e-mail and your prayerful concern for your people of Zimbabwe. As a Christian in Scotland,we pray for Zimbabwe at thisdifficult & painful time. May the Lord...

M.Spinks : 07 August 2013

Thank you for your words - as a Zimbabwean living in the UK now, I have been feeling very depressed about the election results and also angry with the corrupt, immoral and insane ZANU-PF party....

Eugene Visser : 06 August 2013

Brilliantly sad article. 

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I stab at...

Debra : 06 August 2013

Thank-you for writing this beautiful heartfelt letter, for sharing what you have shared. It is so unbelievably wrong that your lives in your country are held 'hostage' by this farcical power-...

Rose Brent : 06 August 2013

Reading this has brought back so many unhappy memories and hopes and dreams that have been shatered.... I can hear and feel your pain. I too am a Zimbabwean and am treated like I am an Alien...

Ros Lindley : 06 August 2013

I am not Zimbabwean, but I applaud your bravery to speak out.  I wish you well and I apologise for my president's congratulations of the elections and the result.  My prayers and love are with you...

TERENCE fRENCH : 06 August 2013

Another stolen election, and confirmation that the choice to emigrate frommy homeland has been justified by history. What a cruel oppressive government.

Estelle O'Reilly : 05 August 2013

A few weeks before the elections, my husband and I checked online to see if we were registered to vote. We were both registered, and under Ward 10 in Kadoma Central. When we got inside, I was on...

Anonymous : 05 August 2013

This article captures my feelings at the moment perfectly. Thank you so much for writing this. The people of Zimbabwe are not stupid, and we can hope that in the end justice will prevail. The...

ZANU PF Manifesto: Team Zanu PF 2013

Musimuvi : 07 August 2013

Doe it not hurt to work up and find your self so wrong, now that the results are out. Next time please do not speak on behalf of the people whom you seem to have completely no clue about.

Sometimes I hate to be Zimbabwean

Nhamodzenyika Freedom : 07 August 2013

Simon great article know that you do not stand alone  there are lots of zimbabweans who feel the same way

Statement by the Government of Botswana on the 2013 Election in the Republic of Zimbabwe

buxus-hans : 06 August 2013

oneparty claims victory; it is all a lie and the bill will come as investors now pull out of Zimbabwe.Which means more hardship for the families who already have a hard life....

Declaration by the High Representative Catherine Ashton on behalf of the EU on the elections in Zimbabwe

Abel Rumbwere : 05 August 2013

new look zimbabwe

marco camoronezi : 04 August 2013

Congratulations to Zimbabwe for a peaceful election that certainly deserves thumps up from all corners of the globe.After all this is an election like no other but one that is bound to be...

judy van aard : 04 August 2013

Anybody who believes it was free and fair whn it was so obviouslyy

ririgged is a complete idiot. ZANU had it so tied up they didn't even to use violence. SADSADC and the AU worship Mugabe...

President Tsvangirai’s statement to the press after the MDC national council meeting, Harare, 3 August 2013

mucha : 03 August 2013

Mr Tsvangson, pliz accept defeat and that will retain credibility as a leader. You didn't do your home work properly. You didn't encourage your supporters to register and relied on the same voters...

ZEC Results: announced 1 August 2013

mafana : 02 August 2013

Zim political parties should think about the people's welfare and not self willed personal interests.Voter margins show in mos places a united front would have brought about a different result.

When youths become too important

ZANDILE : 01 August 2013

Finally, somebody shares my thoughts! I feel sorry for these youths and their parents.

This time I will rise up

Immie : 31 July 2013

God bless you. You have my support.

Forces of evil lurking in the dark

True Grit : 31 July 2013

One can only hope that the result will be a positive one for Zimbabwe's future.