Senator Sithembile Mlotshwa
A Zimbabwean senator has proposed giving prison inmates sex toys in order to avoid them ‘turning gay’ and ‘spreading homosexuality’ when they are released.
According to the Metro and The Herald newspapers, Senator Sithembile Mlotshwa of the MDC party made the suggestion during a parliamentary meeting on gender and development on Monday.
“Considering that some of the same-sex orientation (homosexuality) come from prisons and when those people are out they then spread that orientation, what measures are you putting in place to make sure that vice is stopped?” she asked Acting Secretary for Justice and Legal Affairs Maxwell Ranga.
Mlotshwa then went on to suggest: “In other countries they provide sex gadgets and have constructed rooms where people go and service themselves when the desire arises.”
Ranga commented that the suggestion was not economically viable, saying: “If I am struggling to feed and clothe the prisoners, then how can I ask for gadgets?”
Mlotshwa replied that prisoners could go without food. “We can’t say we don’t have the money to feed them as people can stay without food. They want sexual desires to be satisfied whether you like it or not.”
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.
Late last month, the country’s delegate in the upcoming Mr. Gay World contest, Taurai Zhanje, suddenly withdrew from the event after his participation was reported in Zimbabawe.