Zimbabwe Media Chief Quits Before Probe
Associated Press, April 3, 2002
By Angus Shaw
SUMMARY: The powerful head of the state broadcast station quit his job
ahead of a government inquiry into allegations of homosexuality, the main
state newspaper reported Wednesday.
HARARE, Zimbabwe—The powerful head of the state
broadcast station quit his job ahead of a government inquiry into allegations
of homosexuality, the main state newspaper reported Wednesday.
Alum Mpofu, chief executive of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp., resigned
after he was accused of being caught in a homosexual act in a Harare night
club, The Herald newspaper said.
President Robert Mugabe is reviled by gay activists around the world for
outlawing homosexuality and describing same-sex partners as "worse than
pigs and dogs."
The accusations against Mpofu came two years after Zimbabwe’s former
figurehead 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.
The resignation of Mpofu, the architect of Mugabe’s propaganda campaign
by the state broadcaster ahead of last month’s presidential elections,
headed off a damaging inquiry ordered by the government into an incident
Thursday at a night club owned by a ruling party lawmaker.
Gideon Gono, chairman of the board of directors of the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corp., said Mpofu cited "personal reasons" for his
resignation, the newspaper said.
The report said Mpofu was chained to a fire hydrant by a security guard at
the night club after being found in "a compromising position" with a
man in a corridor but was released after the owner was called to intervene.
Information Minister Jonathan 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 on Tuesday also condemned homosexuality.
"Sexual perverts need to be told once again that homosexuality is
unnatural," he said.
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