Zimbabwe is the former Rhodesia, a colony of Britain for a hundred years. After a civil war, 1965-1979, the country became independent in 1980 under the leadership of Robert Mugabe. He has been president ever since and has ruled with a corrupt and violent hand. Superficially Harare appears to have a veneer of prosperity as reflected in various modern buildings and a reasonable array of new-ish cars in the streets, But beyond the business center and a few middle-class residential areas the domestic scene is grim with high unemployment and substandard housing.
GALZ (Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe) is the major gay organization in the country. It has been around for nearly 20 years, avoiding political and police intrusions mostly because of the effective AIDS education and health that they offer. Unfortunately, GALZ leader Keith Goddard died in Ocober 2009 leaving behind a grieving community.