Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has thrown his weight behind Uganda’s anti-gay legislation by saying it’s a “human right” for men to marry women.
Mugabe, 90, blasted last week’s decision of several western countries to halt foreign aid donations to the Ugandan Government in response to President Yoweri Museveni’s signing into law of his parliament’s draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
“They (the West) want to tell us… that it’s a violation of human rights, that is what they are doing to Museveni right now,” Mugabe said.
“The human right you have as a man is to marry another woman not to get another man to marry, we refuse that,” said Mugabe at a weekend wedding reception of his only daughter Bona.
Mr Mugabe claimed until recently he was not aware of the existence of an LGBT group in Zimbabwe, reports the Associated Press.
Last month, in a significant move, a Zimbabwean magistrate threw out a case by the country’s government against Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ).
The government had accused it of operating as an “unregistered” organisation.
However, a ruling in favour of the organisation was upheld.
Indicating his displeasure at GALZ’s existence, Mugabe said: “I understand we have a group of homosexuals in this country. I didn’t know until I was told the day before yesterday. So we want to check on who is in that group”.
Mugabe is a staunch promoter of homophobic persecution.
In an article published last Friday, UK International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone conceded that a “subtle approach” with Uganda over its anti-gay legislation “clearly didn’t work” as a sufficient deterrent.