'Real fear' for gays in Zimbabwe

Cape Town - Gays in Zimbabwe have expressed concern over President Robert Mugabe's victory in general elections last week, saying "now the real fear is kicking in", according to a Daily News report.

Mugabe, who has ruled the country for 33 years, claimed a landslide victory in last week's elections after pledging "hell for gays" if he was elected.

"This country is getting worse by the day for us LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] people. I hope Mugabe's threats of making the sentences stiffer were just mere politicking. Now the real fear is kicking in," a member of LGBT Zimbabwe said.

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"Over the last three months Mugabe has been intensively mobilising an anti-homosexuality campaign," said another LGBT Zimbabwe member from Harare.

"While Mugabe was campaigning for votes, he was castigating us. Before, people knew about homosexuality but didn’t want to talk about it, now they openly condemn us, and the violence is just too much," he said.

While Mugabe has vowed gay marriages would never be accepted in Zimbabwe, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change has taken a slightly softer approach saying it "will not condone gay marriages".

For all Zimbabwe election stories please visit our Zimbabwe Special Report Page.

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