FORMER BOTSWANA PRESIDENT URGES LEGALISATION OF HOMOSEXUALITY
Wed, 19 October 2011The former president of Botswana and head of the country’s Aids Council Festus Mogae has again called on Botswana to decriminalise homosexuality.
Speaking on the BBC's Network Africa programme, Mogae said that the banning of homosexuality and sex workers was hampering efforts to stop the spread of HIV.
He explained that while he is heterosexual and personally doesn’t “understand” homosexuality, "there are men who look at other men" and they too "are citizens".
Mogae also urged the Botswana government to provide condoms to prisoners, even while homosexuality remains illegal.
"If people can go to prison HIV negative and come out of it HIV positive, it means that prisons, whatever the law says, are one of the sources of infection," he said.
This is not the first time that Mogae, who was president of Botswana from 1998 to 2008, has called for the decriminalisation of homosexuality. In May, during a visit to Malawi, he condemned that country's anti-gay policies.
"We can preach about behavioural change, but as long as we confine gays and lesbians into dark corners because of our inflexibility to accommodate them, the battle on HIV and AIDS can never be won," said Mogae at the time.