Gays And Lesbians Association Deny Receiving US$300 000 From US Embassy
The Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe (GALZ) has denied reports which say it received US$300 000 funding from the United States embassy in Harare.
In the fake news post, purportedly published by NewZimbabwe.com, the authors claimed GALZ was grateful to the opposition political outfit, MDC Alliance, and its leader Nelson Chamisa for facilitating the release of the funds.
However, a GALZ communications officer, who requested anonymity, told NewZimbabwe.com that it was unfortunate the organisation was being portrayed in the wrong light which was injurious to its standing as an apolitical champion for the promotion and protection of rights of sexual minorities, who include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons.
The spokesperson said GALZ never received funding from the said source. Said GALZ in a statement:
Information on our partners is available for our members through our head office, as well as in Annual Reports and at Annual General Meetings (AGMs). If you are unsure if a message is genuine and coming from GALZ, get in touch with us directly…
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Our communication, education, and information material is developed in-house according to an official brand manual, using specific layouts, fonts, and brand colours.
We encourage members to test the validity of the information that is shared on links, news sites, and on social media that tag GALZ.
It is an act of defiance to be gay or lesbian in Zimbabwe considering that beyond the insults, the threat of jail is real, as Zimbabwe punishes same-sex sexual relationships with up to 14 years imprisonment.
Beyond jail, there is the everyday lived experience of discrimination, violence and hate crimes with which LGBTI people must contend — across 69 countries worldwide that criminalize same-sex sexual relationships.
Nevertheless, GALZ in 2018 said the harassment of gay people by state agents has gone down since 2017 when President Emmerson Mnangagwa came to power.