President Robert Mugabe has spoken out once more against homosexuality, saying it will kill off the human race, and does not belong in Zimbabwe.
Speaking at a women’s HIV/AIDS and gender rights conference in Harare yesterday, he said the ‘gay world’ goes against nature, and male homosexuality takes away women’s traditional rights to be a mother.
“When God created Adam … if Adam had desired a person like him it would not have made him any happier,” he said.
“When a man says he wants to get married to another man, we in Zimbabwe don’t accept it. We can’t talk of women’s rights at all if we go in that direction. It will lead to extinction.”
Yesterday’s women’s rights meeting coincided with Amnesty International’s annual global rights report, which cited concerns over ‘worsening discrimination in Africa over people’s sexual orientation or gender identity.’
In October, two allegedly gay men were arrested in Harare after being attacked by a mob. After a court cleared them of engaging in homosexual acts, Mugabe’s party militants then repeatedly threatened violence against the men’s lawyers.
Navanethem Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, arrived in Zimbabwe last Sunday to assess human rights in the country. She said that decisive leadership was needed to create fairer laws concerning property rights for widows, sexual violence, marital rape, sex work, and homosexuality.
Homosexuality is currently illegal in Zimbabwe – laws passed in 2006 made it illegal for two people of the same sex to hold hands, hug, or kiss. The Censorship and Entertainments Control Act also stops citizens from importing, printing, publishing, distributing, or selling any publication which is ‘indecent or obscene or is offensive or harmful to public morals or is likely to be contrary to public health’.
Mugabe, who has previously described same-sex partners as ‘worse than pigs and dogs,’ has vowed not to allow gay rights to be included in a new constitution being drafted.