Zimbabwe

Mugabe targets rivals, gays on vote trail

2013-07-13 22:01
(File: AP)

(File: AP)

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Marange - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe accused his political rivals Saturday of wanting to bring back "white people" and took a swipe at gay rights as campaigning gears up ahead of the 31 July election.

Mugabe, 89, clad in a white church robe and holding a biblical staff, appealed to thousands of members of an indigenous church in eastern Marange to support his bid for re-election after 33 years in power.

"We made a mistake in 2008 to vote for the people who love the white people. Voting for people who want to bring back the white people and thinking that there won't be any development without white people," he said.

The veteran leader will go head to head at the ballot box with longtime rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, 61.

The vote will end the pair's tense power-sharing government that was forced by the chaotic 2008 polls.

Speaking in the diamond rich area, about 200km east of the capital Harare, Mugabe pushed his message of indigenisation of the economy.

"The rich resources that our country is endowed with are for the black people, this is our country. And those who must rule this country must be black people," he said.

Mugabe also attacked gay marriage, saying it was alien to Africa and criticised US President Barack Obama for urging Africa to respect gay rights on a recent visit to the continent.

"You heard it when Obama came to Africa saying Africa must allow gay marriages even women to marry each other so they can wed if they want," he said.

"God destroyed the earth because of these sins. Weddings are for a man and a woman, who when married they bear children," he said.

Mugabe who once said gays and lesbians are worse than pigs and dogs, said animals are better off because they know their sexual orientation.

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

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