ZANU PF was the only political party that responded to concerns raised by the Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe (GALZ) in 2018.
Sylvester Nyamatendedza, a senior GALZ official told NewZimbabwe.com that ahead of the 2018 elections, their organisation approached 16 political parties contesting in that year’s plebiscite seeking clarification on whether their grievances had been included in their election manifestos.
He said ahead of the elections, ZANU gave the association an opportunity to share its concerns and demands on behalf of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) communities. Said Nyamatendedza:
Prior to the 2018 elections, the LGBTI community who are members of GALZ asked us to inquire from political parties their interpretation on good governance and service delivery system, if their manifestos had anything to do with LGBTI issues, and what their plans were as a party if they won the elections regarding LGBTI.
We wrote to 16 political parties, and we only received a response from the ruling party, ZANU PF who asked us for a meeting. We managed to submit our needs, concerns, and demands as the LGBTI community.
Nyamatendedza declined to name other political parties they approached but ignored GALZ’s requests.
ZANU PF’s new stance on GALZ is now far removed from the party’s former leader and Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe who once described gays and lesbians as “worse than pigs”.
Zimbabwe’s Constitution criminalises same-sex marriages while Section 74 of the Criminal Codification and Reform Act has for years been used against members of the LGBTI community.