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Posts for August, 2013

Zimbabwe Leader Says Gays “Destroy Nations,” Are “Filthy, Filthy Disease”

Jim Burroway

August 23rd, 2013

Zimbabwe has held (fraudulent) elections again, which, to no one’s surprise, longtime strongman Robert Mugabe “won”. Yesterday he was sworn in during what SW Radio Africa’s Nomalanga Moyo describes as an “over-the-top ceremony” at the National Sports Stadium in Harare. One of the banners on display at Mugabe’s inauguration read, “It’s Africa versus Europe, with Zimbabwe as the new battlefront,” and the 90-year-old leader had choice words for the West, NGOs, critics from civil society and human rights organizations, and, of course, gays:

In the speech, Mugabe urged young people to “damn” homosexuality in the same way his government does and not to offend nature by engaging in same-sex relationships.

“That destroys nations, apart from it being a filthy, filthy disease,” he said.

Ahead of the elections last month, Mugabe heightened his anti-gay stance in his rallies, going so far as to suggest that homosexuals should be castrated.

During a campaign speech in July, Mugabe suggested that gay people should be beheaded:

In the report, Mugabe is quoted telling his followers that: “If you take men and lock them in a house for five years and tell them to come up with two children and they fail to do that, then we will chop off their heads.

“This thing (homosexuality) seeks to destroy our lineage by saying John and John should wed, Maria and Maria should wed. Imagine this son born out of an African father, (US President Barrack) Obama says if you want aid, you should accept the homosexuality practice. Aah, we will never do that.”

Over the past few years, Zimbabwe police had raided the offices of the advocacy group Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ). During a 2010 raid, several GALZ members were arrested and tortured for allegedly posessing “pornographic material” along with a letter from former San Francisco mayor Willy Brown praising GALZ and denouncing President Mugabe for his opposition to LGBT rights. That led to new charges of “undermining the authority of the President.” Those charges were eventually dropped.

Mugabe has attacked homosexuality as foreign to African culture, and famously described LGBT people as “worse than dogs and pigs.” Homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe under a law that was carried over from colonial times. Conviction brings a penalty of up to three years’ imprisonment.