Gay Guide

Zimbabwe
Pink Star Rating

2

Capital

Harare

Other Main Cities/Resorts

Bulawayo, Chitungwiza, Mutare, Victoria Falls

Scene and Culture

The last few years have seen attacks of extraordinary virulence on Zimbabwe's lesbian and gay community, led by Robert Mugabe. Up until 1994 there was no official public reaction to the formation of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) in 1989, with the organisation keeping a low profile.There were a few raids on the founder members' houses and materials were confiscated, never to be returned, but by and large it was a case of live and let live. It was in 1995 when GALZ applied to have a stand at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair that Mugabe's campaign of extreme homophobia began. Mugabe made several virulent anti-gay speeches for example saying in 1995 "It degrades human dignity. It's unnatural and there is no question ever of allowing these people to behave worse than dogs and pigs. What we are being persuaded to accept is sub-animal behaviour and we will never allow it here. If you see people parading themselves as lesbians and gays, arrest them and hand them over to the police". Mugabe has continued to make homophobic speeches inciting hatred against gays and lesbians and has instilled a climate of fear and repression in Zimbabwe. The only gay scene that exists in Zimbabwe is an underground scene organised through groups such as Gay.zim (See below). Given the current turmoil in Zimbabwe (both economic and political and which seems to get worse year by year) plus the intense homophobia displayed by the current regime we would not recommend that you visit Zimbabwe.

Gay Age of Consent

Ilegal

Lesbian Age of Consent

Ilegal

Legal Notes

Whilst here is no Statutory legislation prohibiting homosexual activities in Zimbabwe, there are criminal offences under Common law which effectively make homosexuality illegal in Zimbabwe. Common Law prohibitions include Sodomy defined as the "unlawful and intentional sexual relations per anum between two human males".and Unnatural Offences defined as the unlawful and intentional commission of an unnatural sexual act by one person with another person. The meaning of "Unnatural" involves a value judgement which can be interpreted how you will. These offences are particularly repressive. Zimbabwean law therefore criminalise sex and even the display of affection between men and criminalises unnatural sexual acts between two persons which in theory could be applied to two women though in practice never has. Although these outdated laws are not always applied, the threat of being caught still hangs over the gay and lesbian community in Zimbabwe. S11 of The Censorship and Entertainments has also been used to harass gay people in Zimbabwe. This provides that no person shall import, print, publish, distribute, or keep for sale any publication which is undesirable. A publication is undesirable if it is "indecent or obscene or is offensive or harmful to public morals or is likely to be contrary to public health."

Population

11343000

Currency

Dollar ZD

Climate

The best time of year to visit Zimbabwe is during the dry season from May to October. Zimbabwe has a sub-tropical climate that is influenced by altitude. There are four distinct seasons. (1.) A warm wet season from November to March. (2.) A transitional season from April to May. (3.) A cool dry winter season from May to August and (4.) a warm dry season from August to October. Rainfall is highest on the High Veld with an average annual precipitation of up to 1,020 mm while the Middle Veld receives 410 mm to 610 mm and the Low Veld receives less than 400 mm. Average temperature ranges in Harare (Salisbury) are from 7c to 21c in June or July to 16c to 27c in November.

All Zimbabwe
Nationwide info