Homophobic Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe called Britain’s tolerance of gay rights “unnatural” and “filth” at the funeral of his deputy intelligence chief today.

The African leader, speaking at the funeral of Menard Muzariri, hit out at continued European sanctions on his country.

Mr Muzariri died on Monday. His funeral was attended by thousands.

According to IOL News, Mr Mugabe told the crowds: “We don’t worry ourselves about the goings-on in Europe. About the unnatural things happening there, where they turn man-to-man and woman-to-woman. We say, well, it’s their country. If they want to call their country British Gaydom, it’s up to them. That’s not our culture. We condemn that filth.

“We get alarmed when these countries have the audacity to schedule us as an item to discuss in their parliament.”

The president has condemned gays and lesbians before, having described gay people as worse than “dogs and pigs”.

Zimbabwean gay and lesbian group GALZ said his statements were “nothing new” and highlighted the need for LGBT constitutional protection.

The group said: “It is time for the Zimbabwean government to reflect seriously on its thinking around human rights including those of its lesbian and gay citizens and government should be implementing measures which proactively encourage a culture of meaningful human rights protection in this country.”