Robert Mugabe (Pic: Jeremy Lock)
Zimbabwe’s homophobic President Robert Mugabe and his wife have publicly re-stated their anti-gay sentiments in recent days.
Speaking at a church gathering in Marange on Saturday, Mugabe reiterated his position that there would be no inclusion of LGBT equality in the country’s new constitution. He also returned to equating gays and lesbians with animals.
“Today, the Anglican Church condones marriages between men and the same for women. The Archbishop of Canterbury is blessing such marriages – that is similar to dog behaviour. At some point, I realised that I was reprimanding blameless dogs and pigs, which are aware that marriage is for procreation,” said Mugabe.
“We say no to gays! We will not listen to those advocating the inclusion of their rights in the constitution,” he added.
It was in 1995 that Mugabe famously first said that gays and lesbians were “worse than dogs and pigs”.
While he rejected LGBT rights, Mugabe did affirm his support for polygamy in the speech, saying: “We will not force people into monogamous marriages. It’s there even in the bible – Solomon was not only given wealth but many wives.”
According to Behind the Mask, earlier this month, the country’s First Lady Grace Mugabe also condemned homosexuality in a speech during the handover of food to an orphanage.
“You heard about the constitution and let us contribute, but do not support the recognition of homosexuals’ so called rights.
“It is taboo to our culture and Satan will have defeated us if we accept it. The constitution should be in accordance with our culture and homosexuality is foreign to us,” she said.
Homosexuality remains illegal in Zimbabwe with penalties including jail-time.
Two employees of the country’s only LGBT rights organisation, GALZ, are currently on trial for possession of pornographic material after being arrested during a police raid on the group’s offices in May. Their lawyers say that the items in question are of an educational nature.