Last edited: December 31, 2004

Mugabe Attacks Britain, Gays at Campaign Rally

Agence France-Presse, February 3, 2002

HARARE (AFP)—Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe threatened to punish gay groups at a weekend campaign rally for his re-election, saying Britain was angry at him for his stance against homosexuality.

Mugabe said British Prime Minister Tony Blair should "expose" his cabinet as full of gays before criticising Zimbabwe, according to the official ZIANA news agency.

"I have people who are married in my cabinet. He has homosexuals and they make John marry Joseph and let Mary get married to Rosemary," Mugabe told thousands of people at a rally in the rural district of Wedza yesterday.

"We are saying they do not know biology because even dogs and pigs know biology. We can form clubs, but we will never have homosexual clubs. In fact, we will punish them," he said.

Attacks on Britain are staples of Mugabe’s speeches, especially as the former colonial power has moved toward imposing sanctions on his regime over his increasingly autocratic rule ahead of the March 9-10 presidential election.

Mugabe forced through parliament tough new security and press laws last month, even as the opposition and rights groups accused pro-government militants of stepping up attacks on people who oppose him.

The 77-year-old president, who has ruled since independence in 1980, is struggling for his political survival against a tough challenge from former labor leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

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