Zimbabwe Broadcast Chief Faces Probe
Associated Press, April 2, 2002
By Angus Shaw
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP)—The government plans to
investigate the powerful head of the state broadcast station on allegations of
homosexuality, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
The inquiry was prompted by allegations Alum Mpofu, chief executive of the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp., caused a disturbance Thursday at a Harare
nightclub after being caught "in a compromising situation" with a
man, the state Herald newspaper reported Tuesday.
Mpofu has refused comment.
President Robert Mugabe is reviled by gay activists around the world for
outlawing homosexual acts and describing same-sex partners as "worse than
pigs and dogs."
The accusations against Mpofu came two years after Zimbabwe’s former
ceremonial president, Canaan Banana, was jailed for committing homosexual acts
and indecent assault on members of his presidential guard in a case that
deeply embarrassed Mugabe’s government.
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said Mpofu, a ruling party loyalist
appointed to lead the state broadcaster ahead of last month’s presidential
elections, "will be given a fair hearing and allowed time to tell his
side of the story," The Herald reported.
Moyo said the broadcasters’ board of directors was asked to determine the
truth behind the alleged incident at a night club owned by a ruling party
Moyo recruited Mpofu, a Zimbabwean working at the South African
Broadcasting Corp., last July to head changes at the ZBC that streamlined its
role as a government mouthpiece.
Mugabe, declared the winner in the disputed March 9-11 presidential
election, scoffed in his campaign at homosexuality in Britain, the former
colonial power he accused of backing the opposition.
He repeatedly said British Prime Minister Tony Blair led "a government
of gay gangsters and lesbians" who needed biology classes on human
Moyo said Mpofu’s alleged behavior was "totally unacceptable"
from a public official, regardless of whether a man or woman was involved.
But Moyo also condemned homosexuality.
"Sexual perverts need to be told once again that homosexuality is
unnatural," he said. "The only people who accept homosexuality are
liberals who think it is a way of getting votes."
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