Last edited: July 11, 2004

Zimbabwe's Mugabe Lashes out at Homosexuals

Reuters, April 23, 1998

HARARE - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has taken another swipe at gays and lesbians, condemning them as worse than wild animals, the state ZIANA news agency reported on Thursday.

"Animals in the jungle are better than these people because at least they know that this is a man or a woman,'' Mugabe was quoted as saying in a speech of condolence on Wednesday at the home of Charles Chikerema, editor of the state-owned Herald newspaper. Chikerema died on Tuesday.

Mugabe also attacked the World Council of Churches, which is reported to have accepted the participation of the Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe at its December conference in Harare.

"Will God not punish us because of such practices?'' he said. Mugabe drew local and international criticism when his government barred the Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe from participating in the 1995 Zimbabwe International Book Fair.

The association won a court order the following year allowing it to participate in the fair, but its stand was trashed by angry crowds, who set fire to a display of books on homosexuality.

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