Zimbabwe

Mugabe hints at crackdown on gays

2014-03-03 14:32
Zimbabwean President elect, Robert Mugabe at the country's Commemoration of Heroes day in Harare. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP)

Zimbabwean President elect, Robert Mugabe at the country's Commemoration of Heroes day in Harare. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP)

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Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has thrown his weight behind Uganda's draconian anti-gay laws and hinted at a crackdown on gays in his own country, state media reported on Monday.

He castigated the West for punishing Kampala with aid cuts after President Yoweri Museveni signed into law a bill that banned homosexuality in the east African country.

"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.

Mugabe has previously said homosexuality is un-African and described gays and lesbians as worse than pigs and dogs.

"It's a terrible world we are in, a terrible world where people want to do things that they feel will enhance their own interests."

He said until recently he was not aware of the existence of an association of homosexuals in Zimbabwe, and warned he would want to know who belongs to the group.

"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 said.

The Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe (GALZ) has long operated in the country despite Mugabe's ranting against homosexuality.

Police have on several occasions raided the GALZ offices and prosecutors had laid charges against the association accusing it of operating an unregistered organisation. However, a magistrate dismissed the case last week.

Read more on:    galz  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  gay rights
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