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Zimbabwe Activist Vows to Fight for Gay Rights Despite Mugabe Broadside

Despite President Robert Mugabe’s unscripted gay outburst in his United Nations General Assembly address Monday, gay activist Chesterfield Samba says he will continue to champion these rights.

Samba is the head of the Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe, an organisation founded 25 years ago and has had its offices raided and members arrested in the past.

"Despite all these challenges and the speech by President Mugabe on Monday at the United Nations against gays, I will continue to fight for the rights of all our members," said Samba.

Samba was this week given an award for his courageous efforts in fighting for gay rights in Zimbabwe on the sidelines of the United Nations meeting in New York.

"I feel honoured to be recognized for the work we are doing in Zimbabwe, although the road has not been easy but like any other person in the country we also want our basic human rights respected," said Samba.

He noted that it was not easy for him to come out of the closet but his family accidentally stumbled upon his communication with GALZ of which he was a member.

He said his father confronted him asking why he was a member of that organisation prompting him to share his secret and come out.

"After I came out my family was very supportive and have been ever since. I feel free to live the life I have always wanted to without fear of rejection or condemnation from those close to me. I no longer get questioned about why I prefer men or am not married yet," said Samba

Samba said despite some challenges he faces in Zimbabwe for being gay, he will continue to fight to protect and advance the dignity and human rights of the Lesbians, Gays, Bi-sexual and Transgender community.

Samba said he would be in the U.S capitol Washington, Wednesday to conduct meetings with organisations fighting for gay rights and other officials, before returning to Zimbabwe.