The latest reported escape from censure of a reportedly gay journalist working for Zimbabwe's government media has led to a call for a 'sex audit' by an opposition, diaspora website.
Last month we reported how Robert Mukondiwa had been discovered in flagrante delicto with a man in Namibia whilst covering a visit by President Mugabe. Reports said that the news of the outing had reached Mugabe who asked who was 'protecting him'.
Mukondiwa is a senior Zimbabwean journalist. Last year he was reportedly caught having sex with another reporter in the newsroom of government owned The Herald by a security guard.
According to opposition website Zimbabwe News Online Mukondiwa is on the payroll of the ruling ZANU-PF party and is a member of Mugabe's presidential staff.
Zimeye reports that Mukondiwa has been spared disciplinary action by the president. When asked, they report, by a friend if he was going anywhere after the incident, Mukondiwa said he was not: ”Hapana kwandiri kuenda ini. Handiende zvachose. I live forever shamwari,” he said.
Zimeye now says that its readers are demanding a 'sex(ual orientation) audit' at Zimbabwe’s JOMIC (Joint Operations and Implementation Committee) offices. JOMIC is the Zimbabwean multipartisan panel that was first launched on January 30, 2009, pursuant of the 2008 Zimbabwean power-sharing agreement.
Citing the Mukondiwa incident, they claim that because Jonathan Moyo is now on the JOMIC board, and because Moyo has previously criticised Mugabe's anti-gay stance, the 'audit' is needed.
Moyo is a controversial figure who has both worked for, opposed and is now again defending Mugabe. He is blocked from traveling to the US because of anti-democratic history. Rumours have circulated that he is gay, as well as rumours about one of Mugabe's vice presidents and other Mugabe officials.
A Zimeye reader claimed of Moyo that:
“Records and statistics show that wherever this man lays his hands you end up with homosexual relationship scandals. It happened at ZBC, it happened in Politiburo when he joined, it happened at Zimpapers where he appointed all the journalists, Students at institutions where he has lectured. Now mark my words someone in JOMIC will be caught pants down again.”Meanwhile, Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) reports a recent brutal attack on a lesbian in the town of Chitungwiza, south of Harare.
The woman, who has not been named, had earlier been insulted at a local bar where she was in the company of a female “friend”.
The woman, described as in her 20s, was “punched in the stomach and pushed to the floor” by two men who also kicked her.
“One of the men broke a bottle of beer on her head,” a GALZ statement said on Wednesday.
She underwent treatment for her injuries at Chitungwiza General Hospital.
“Medical reports were used to open a case against the perpetrators with the police,” the statement added.
A police spokesman confirmed two men had been interviewed over the September 2 incident and investigations were continuing.
GALZ said the attack followed “continued reports of harassment and threats towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the area by known individuals”.