Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe used a speech at his 88th birthday party to attack the West and its promotion of equal rights for gays.

He appeared to add that his dog would be offended were it to be compared with British prime minister David Cameron following his support for equal marriage.

Mugabe was described by state media as “his usual energetic self” when he delivered the homophobic speech at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare on Saturday.

According to New Zimbabwe, he told the reported 20,000 attendees: “We reject [gay marriage] outright and say to hell with you.

“You, David Cameron, are you suggesting that you don’t know that or is it some kind of insanity or part of the culture of Europeans.

“In their newspapers, that’s one of my sins. That I called [gays] worse than pigs and dogs because pigs know there are males and females.

“I won’t even call him a dog because my own dog will complain and say, but what have I done? It’s even in the Bible that you create through the system of marrying. That’s how we were born, so we reject that outright and say, to hell with you.

“You are free as a man to marry a woman and that is what we follow. That’s what produced you and me. This kind of insanity is now part of the culture.”

Mugabe previously dubbed the UK’s approach to redirecting aid away from central governments who deny gays equal rights “satanic”.

State media also reported that Mugabe would call an election this year to put an end to his coalition with prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party.

He predicted success for his own ZANU-PF party in an early election but such a move would be resisted by Tsvangirai.

In October last year, Tsvangirai stood up for gay rights in a dramatic change of direction saying he hoped a new state constitution would “come out with freedom of sexual orientation” describing such freedoms as a “human right”.