PRESS STATEMENT BY THE LESBIAN AND GAY EQUALITY PROJECT
FOR DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND QUEER EQUALITY IN ZIMBABWE
The Lesbian and Gay Equality Project (LGEP) joins the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition in calling on this weekend’s Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Southern African Development Community focusing on Zimbabwe can lead to a peaceful, free, fair and legitimate democratic transition in that country. We fully endorse and support the Coalition’s call on the summit to put on public record minimum pre-conditions that Zimbabwe must meet in order to create an environment conducive to holding free and fair elections where violence and intimidation play no part and to inspire confidence in the people of Zimbabwe, in SADC and the wider international community.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and inter-sexed activists will join the protest organised by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition which will take place tomorrow, Saturday, 11 June, from 11am, outside the Sandton Convention Centre where the SADC Summit will be held.
In the view of the LGEP, the violation of human rights and the undermining of democratic principles by the Zimbabwean government are part of the same continuum of hate, societal homophobia, ignorance, patriarchy, oppression, dictatorship, exploitation, and social injustices that scar Zimbabwe and many countries in our continent. In this sense, the oppression of one is an oppression of all.
The Zimbabwean government promotes homophobia and violates the rights of LGBTI people. Its anti-imperialist/anti-Western rhetoric does not confuse or fool us. Far from being anti-imperialists, the Zimbabwen government has long sold out the struggles of the people Zimbabwe. This picket is also a message to the South African government which has begun to fail its constitutional mandate to promote, protect and advance human rights, equality, freedom and socio-economic justice. This very week our government has resisted processes at the United Nations Human Rights Council that would have resulted in an effective international framework to protect the rights of LGBTI people across the world.
FOR COMMENTS, CONTACT:
Kunu Semake (LGEP Organising Department)
Cell - 076 983 9195
Mazibuko K. Jara (LGEP Chairperson)
Cell – 083 651 0271
Website – www.equality.org.za