Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
A Zimbabwean MP from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party has come out in support of gay and lesbian equality, saying that LGBT people should have the same rights as heterosexual people.
Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, the MP for Lobengula in Bulawayo, told NewsDay at a MDC-T rally on Saunday that “Tsvangirai has not said he supports or does not support gays and lesbians.
“He just said they have rights and people should come up with a position on how to include their basic human rights in the constitution, the same rights which we all have on the basis of us being human.”
Nkomo added: “MDC-T welcomes anyone only because they are human. We do not discriminate and do not bother ourselves about whether someone is homosexual or not.”
Last month, Tsvangirai came under fire in Zimbabwe after he told the BBC that gay and lesbian equality should be protected by the country’s new constitution, which is still being drafted.
Zimbabwe is currently ruled by an uneasy coalition that includes Tsvangirai’s MDC-T and President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF parties. Mugabe has previously stated that he would never allow gay and lesbian rights to be enshrined in the country’s constitution.
Gay sex – along with members of the same sex holding hands, hugging or kissing – is illegal in Zimbabwe with penalties of up to three years in jail.