Home » Human Rights » Gays and Lesbians Hit Back At Mugabe Over Hate Speech

ZIMBABWE’S gays and lesbians have hit back at State President Robert Mugabe’s anti-gay comments on Independence Day, accusing the veteran leader of fanning hatred towards the group by ordinary Zimbabweans.

In his independence speech, Mugabe threatened unspecified action on gay rights groups operating in his country and further threatened to expel diplomats found supporting gay activities in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe insisted homosexuality was a European practice and urged the West to desist from any attempts to impose the practice on Africans.

The 90 year-old leader said he was aware of a gay organisation which was going around Zimbabwe’s universities enticing youths to join them.

A fierce critic of homosexuals, President Mugabe further said gay rights did not fall under any category of rights insisting “no right could derive from an inhuman act”.

But in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com early this week, Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe director, Chesterfield Samba condemned Mugabe’s comments saying they tended to incite fellow citizens against them.

“We have always indicated that threats especially emanating from the highest office of the land which is the office of the President are always very worrying to the LGBTI community which is already vulnerable as these threats fuel public hatred of individuals,” Samba said.

“So we are always very concerned about the hate speech which the President peddles.”

Samba said Mugabe’s sentiments were “threats of violence” by a leader who is ironically known for denouncing violence in the country.

“It’s very difficult to be LGBTI but I think also that when you are out in the community, it makes it more challenging where obviously when people listen to his remarks, they are bound to feel the desire to act on those statements.”

Samba denied his organisation was trying to convert youths into being gay adding that anyone over the age of 18 was free to join them if they so wished.

The Harare headquartered association has in the recent past witnessed repeated raids by police while some of its leaders have been dragged to the courts on related offences.

The rich West has repeatedly condemned the harassment of gays by African governments, while threatening to stop its humanitarian assistance in marked countries.

Source : New Zimbabwe