President Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe says that he prefers aid from China because it doesn’t demand that Zimbabwe accept gay rights.
The Telegraph reports that Mugabe told a Chinese TV interviewer that aid from the West has too many conditions, such as pushing for the country to decriminalise homosexuality.
“Whereas Europe and America, when they give little funding assistance to countries they always attach conditions,” he said. “And that is our objection.”
The Zimbabwean president made the comments while visiting China in a bid to secure funding to bolster the country’s ailing economy, which has continued to flounder under his rule.
Gay sex and public affection are illegal in Zimbabwe, with penalties of up to three years in jail. Same-sex marriage is also illegal, as entrenched in the country’s Constitution.
Mugabe has openly attacked and vilified gays and lesbians for years and recently promised to further crack down on the community and the country’s LGBT rights group, GALZ.
He famously stated that gay people are “worse than pigs and dogs” and that they “don’t have any human rights at all”.
The homophobic leader, who has been in power for more than 34 years, last year won another term in a controversial national election.
Mugabe threatened that if he won the elections he would review and tighten current sentences imposed on gay people so that they will “rot in jail.”