July 8, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Zimbabwe president: Arrest gays who don’t conceive children
Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, Gay News, Washington Blade

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. (Photo public domain)

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on July 5 said authorities should arrest gays and lesbians who don’t conceive children.

“I should like to shut them-up in some room and see if they get pregnant; if they don’t then it’s jail because they have claimed they can have children,” the tabloid New Zimbabwe quoted Mugabe as saying during a rally in Harare, the country’s capital, at which he unveiled the platform of his party, ZANU-PF, ahead of the African nation’s July 31 elections. “So, to that kind of rot, we say no, no, no, no!”

The tabloid further reported that Mugabe criticized the Anglican Church for blessing same-sex marriages.

The Zimbabwean Broadcasting Corporation noted Mugabe also blasted President Obama’s support of nuptials for gays and lesbians.

“Obama said he wished that we in Africa accepted gay marriages,” Mugabe said. “Parents, tell your children that we are against gay marriage.”

Mugabe, whom Zimbabweans elected president in 1987 after he had served as the country’s first post-independence prime minister from 1980, has previously used homophobic rhetoric against gays and lesbians.

He described gay men and lesbians who participated in the annual International Book Festival in Harare in 1995 as “dogs and pigs.” LGBTQ Nation reported Mugabe said during a speech he gave a Roman Catholic-run teacher’s college in the city of Masvingo in southeastern Zimbabwe last month that gays and lesbians “should rot in jail” as he suggested the country’s anti-homosexuality laws are too lenient.

The State Department last August criticized the Zimbabwean government’s crackdown on LGBT rights activists after police arrested more than 40 members of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) inside the advocacy group’s Harare office. GALZ members, who routinely face harassment and even death threats, said authorities confiscated computers and pamphlets from the same office a few days earlier.

New Zimbabwe also reported that Mugabe during his Harare speech on July 5 referenced former President Canaan Banana, who in 1998 received a 10 year prison sentence after his conviction on charges sodomy, attempted sodomy and indecent assault against his former male employees.

Mugabe’s comments came less than two weeks after Obama applauded the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional in response to a question he received during a press conference with Senegalese President Macky Sall in Dakar, Senegal.

Obama also reaffirmed his opposition to the criminalization of homosexuality.

“When it comes to how the state treats people, how the law treats people, I believe that everybody has to be treated equally,” he said. “I don’t believe in discrimination of any sort. That’s my personal view.”

Amnesty International noted in a report it released on June 24 — two days before Obama left for his week-long trip to Africa that also included visits to South Africa and Tanzania — that 38 African countries continue to criminalize consensual same-sex conduct.

A senior administration official on Monday declined to comment, saying the White House would not “dignify Mugabe’s comments with a response.”

The Zimbabwean embassy in D.C. did not return the Washington Blade’s request for comment.

A GALZ member with whom the Blade spoke earlier this year in the nation’s capital said ZANU-PF is going to “use the issue of homosexuality as one of their campaign tools” ahead of the July 31 elections.

GALZ Chair Samba Chesterfield urged Mugabe to “desist from making such hate filled statements that impact on the lives of LGBT people” during an interview with LGBTQ Nation.

“Mugabe needs to deal with issues such as unemployment, impunity, access to clean water and corruption in government, rather than such rhetoric that does not do much to win over a despondent electorate,” Chesterfield told the website.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

30 Comments
  • Mr. Mugabe is trying to refocus his country’s attention away from the real issues in Zimbabwe much like the Republican party here would do in an election year. But the tired old fool must know that his impoverished citizens can see right through his propaganda. He always has some cold remarks for same sex relationships so you have to wonder what demons he’s fighting within himself. Maybe he and Mr. Banana have been “together” in the past. What a horrid thought.

  • Nicholas Musiwa

    we don't support gay marriages in Africa.

    • Eric Chamberlain

      We need to support equality in Africa.

    • Love wins. Antigays can't.

      History will bear this out.

    • Nicholas Musiwa

      @ Eric there is nothing equal in homosexuality. Only those in US who think its a way of winning votes would condone such behavior and anti-Christian organizations as well who never accepted the natural laws of God

    • Nicholas Musiwa

      @ Theo i have not seen love in homosexuality. Its all lust and manipulative. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of this behavior. Its satanic, non-Christian and a terrible sin..Those who practice it do it at their own peril….

  • Elaine Dela Cera

    why don't you open up your heart and mind that each one of us has the right to be happy, to be respected, to love and to be loved no matter what gender, no matter who you are, what kind of race you are..the most important is love and understanding in the whole world.so we have to support the equality of africa!

  • what mr president is saying is right we don’t want gays here in Zimbabwe do it somewhere because its satanic God created woman for what purpose? what equality do pple want . may god keep mr president alive for me. BE OUR ENEMY BE UNDER OUR FEET

  • PK Gyewu Akrofi

    God in his wisdom (even if u don't believe in God, but Nature) knows why He made us–man and woman.

  • Eric and Theo, you can't argue with religious-based ignorance and hatred…..

  • Personally, I think the US should end all aid to African nations that continue to oppress GLBT people.

  • Nicholas you're ignorant. Sexuality is not a choice. And for all your self-righteous blustering you will not change nature. You may deny it, but you will lose. Fear of others differences is ridiculous and unjust and you won't find any support for your ignorance on this website. I sincerely hope that your country will turn it's attention to issues that truly matter and stop oppressing a minority that will not ever harm your society, despite your intense fear.

  • And to assume that all men and women were made for the exact same purpose is both arrogant and foolish.

  • Nicholas, I hate to tell you, but God created homosexual people according to His NATURAL law. You have demonstrated your total ignorance about the books of the Bible – all of which were written by PEOPLE, not any "God". The story of Sodom is not about sexuality. Why would Lot offer his DAUGHTERS to a bunch of GAY MEN? The sin of Sodom was inhospitality, not anything sexual. How many translations of the Bible do you have? There were more than 1,500 different translations in the first 300 years! Scribers made mistakes, misread what they saw, had ink stains go through the parchments, thus creating erroneous jots and tittles on the other side os the pages. My knowledge is based on almost 50 years of studying every aspect of the many translations and mistranslations of the books of the Bible, of many years being a Benedictine monk, of studying theology, theosophy, apologetics, Latin, Greek, Hebrew. I probably have more books and treatises on the subject – more than 1,200 in my home – than you have books.

  • Nicholas Musiwa …….. Africans.

  • They should arrest straight people who don't conceive children as well. Fucking shitbags.

  • God loves his gay children the most. WE are his most treasured creation in all the Universes. Heterosexuals were created to give birth to his rarest creation, the homosexual.

  • Not true, some people were made intersexed! Some have XXY chromosomes, others have metabolic variances that make their gender ambiguous.

  • Homosexuals are more evolved than their heterosexual counterparts. Heterosexuals are in a endless rutting stage which makes them violent and quite stupid. FACT.

  • No, they don’t like gays and lesbians in Zimbabwe, just murderous dictators who’ve ruined their nation. Whatever happens to that mis-begotten country, whatever befalls the people that support or supported this cretin, you get what you deserve.

    And for those who don’t support him (on any issue, not just this one), a piece of advice: LEAVE!

  • Many of the countries that the US, UN, WHO, GAVI and the Gates Foundation support, especially in Africa and Asia, oppress, discriminate against, persecute, prosecute, imprison, torture, and even murder their own citizens who happen to be homosexual. Instead of the UN and other international organizations pouring money into these bigoted countries, the organizations should tell the countries to take the money they use to harm their gay citizens and use that money to buy vaccines and medicines instead. These disgusting countries should not be using their scant resources to destroy the lives of innocent citizens who happen to be homosexual when there are more positive and productive things these bigots can use the money for to help all their citizens, including those citizens who are born gay. The US, UN, WHO, GAVI and the Gates foundation should be absolutely ashamed to support the harassment, oppression, imprisonment, torture, and murder of so many innocent people. Until those practices are ended, no country, group, or individual should provide any aid or assistance to these countries. These disgusting countries should be boycotted, sanctions should be brought against them, and they should be treated as pariah nations. And it is patently unfair that gays and their loved ones should be devastated by discriminatory actions, while the bigots and their loved ones go about enjoying their lives as if nothing has happened. It's time to start making bigots pay for the discriminatory actions they take. When they have to pay a price, they might start to rethink their actions. We need to attack heterosexuals from Cameroon, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Senegal, Gambia, and other bigoted nations, in our countries. Start with embassy personnel. Then target politicians, the police, prosecutors, judges, prison personnel, and their loved ones, that persecute the homosexuals in the bigoted countries.
    Mugabe needs to be hunted down and put down like the rabid dog he is.

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  • Who appointed YOU spokesperson for ALL Africa?

  • What no one talks about are the children who are silenced as a result of homosexual or lesbian aggression. The adults fight for their rights but who fights for the rights of the silenced child?

  • Well! A lot has been said already. My problem is when you look at your private part as a male, does it fit more into a female private part or anus meant for sheet. Even a goat can tell the difference I wander why its hard for humans. Let’s not call names here and respect each others opion. We loves gays bcos they are humans, but the acts is natural inappropriate.

  • In fact we need to call for equality in USA, what with the shameless acquittal of Zimmerman

  • Lets all be homos! The prophetic end of the world! No. Sorry. The world will not end BUT HUMANKIND!!!!!

  • Nicholas Musiwa- your people have been brain washed by Christian missionaries for centuries. It's sad that hate and superstition is so ingrained in your culture that you believe that a mythical character controls the world and condones the killing and alienation of other people. You are a barbarian…a savage in a suite.

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