“We did not fight for this Zimbabwe so it can be a homosexual territory,” said Mugabe in a speech that marked his country’s independence from the U.K. in 1980 as the New Zimbabwe newspaper reported. “We will never have that here and if there are any diplomats who will talk of any homosexuality, just tell me. We will kick them out of the country without any excuse. We won’t even listen.”
New Zimbabwe noted Mugabe also said his country will resist efforts to decriminalize homosexuality. The website reported the Zimbabwean president also referred to the U.S. and other Western countries that blasted Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for signing a bill into law in February that imposes a life sentence upon anyone found guilty of repeated same-sex sexual acts.
The White House cut foreign aid to Uganda after Museveni signed the measure into law. The World Bank also postponed a $90 million loan to the Ugandan government that would have bolstered the East African country’s health care system.
“They say they want you to believe that if a man gets another man and they have a homosexual relationship, they have human rights to do so,” said Mugabe as New Zimbabwe reported. “That act is inhuman. It’s not human and human rights cannot derive from acts which are inhuman. That does not exist in jurisprudence.”
Mugabe’s comments come less than a month after he described homosexuality as “inhuman” during an event in Harare, the country’s capital, that commemorated International Women’s Day.
The Zimbabwean president has repeatedly faced criticism from LGBT rights advocates and others over his anti-gay rhetoric.
Mugabe told supporters last July ahead of his country’s presidential election that authorities should arrest gays and lesbians who don’t conceive children. The Zimbabwean president during the same event criticized President Obama over his support of marriage rights for same-sex couples.
Mugabe described gays and lesbians who took part in a Harare book fair in 1995 as “dogs and pigs.” He reportedly said during a speech at a teacher’s college in the city of Masvingo last June that gay men and lesbians should “rot in jail.”
The State Department in August 2012 criticized the Zimbabwean government after police arrested more than 40 members of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, a local LGBT advocacy group, inside their Harare office. Authorities confiscated computers and pamphlets from the organization a few days before the arrests.
Zimbabwean police reportedly stopped a Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe workshop last month.
“The United States remains committed to the people of Zimbabwe,” said Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday in a statement that marked Zimbabwean Independence Day. “We will continue to support all Zimbabweans as you seek a more democratic, prosperous and healthy future.”