Zimbabwe says NO to homosexuality

2016-11-07 20:00
Emmerson Mnangagwa (File: AFP)

Emmerson Mnangagwa (File: AFP)

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Harare – The Zimbabwean government has reportedly rejected calls for allowing same sex-marriages in the country, saying, however, that it would accept other recommendations in line with the country’s constitution.

According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, Deputy President Emmerson Mnangagwa told the United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group that Zimbabwe would not allow homosexuality in the country.

Mnangagwa, however, revealed that the country would accept 142 other recommendations that were in line with the country’s harmonised constitution.

"With regards to areas that we felt we would not accept, it is issues of gays and homosexuality, which is unlawful in our country. We rejected all those. There are a few countries from Europe which recommended we reconsider our position with regard to adults of same sex marrying each other that we rejected," Mnangagwa was quoted as saying. 

Zimbabwe remained a hugely anti-homosexual country, with its President Robert Mugabe, 92, often lambasting gays and lesbians.

Last year, the nonagenarian told a United Nations General Assembly that his country would not allow homosexuality.

Traditions and beliefs 

Mugabe said that gay rights were not human rights, adding that western governments should not prescribe new rights that were contrary to "our values, norms, traditions and beliefs. We are not gays".

After the United States passed a bill that allowed for same sex marriages, Mugabe mocked President Barak Obama, saying that he would ask Obama to marry him[Mugabe].

"I've just concluded since president Obama endorses the same-sex marriage, advocates homosexual people and enjoys an attractive countenance thus if it becomes necessary, I shall travel to Washington, DC, get down on my knee, and ask his [Obama's] hand," Mugabe was reported as saying at the time.

The Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe (GALS) has continued to call for government and civil society organisations to give them the same treatment as any other groups in the southern African country.

At a workshop sponsored by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights in April, GALS programme officer Sylvester Nyamatendedza said the treatment that some of the group's members were receiving from government officials was negative.

He said that even some sections of the local media were not reporting fairly about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.

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

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