A Zimbabwean Member of Parliament who was held by police for seven days after she accused President Robert Mugabe of having had gay sex has been let out on bail of $200.
Lynette Karenyi, from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), was arrested for “insulting” the president at a rally on December 9 in Chimanimani.
According to the Daily Nation, Karenyi said at the rally: “Zanu PF (President Mugabe’s party) members been attacking MDC president Tsvangirai alleging he is pro-homosexuals yet Robert Mugabe has practiced homosexuality with (Professor) Jonathan Moyo (former Information minister) and Canaan Banana (Zimbabwe’s first ceremonial president).”
The Herald newspaper has reported that Karenyi is denying having made the statement about Mugabe. Her alleged comments will have no doubt infuriated Mugabe who is proudly anti-gay and has described gays and lesbians as being “worse than pigs and dogs”.
Zimbabwe is currently ruled by an uneasy coalition that includes Tsvangirai’s MDC and Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party. Mugabe has previously stated that he would never allow gay and lesbian rights to be enshrined in the country’s new constitution.
Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai came under fire after he told the BBC in October that gay and lesbian equality should indeed be protected by the 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.