14 November 2016

Zimbabwe: Homosexuality - Zimbabwean Gays 'Give Up'

Photo: IRIN
Gay couples face charges and discrimination (file photo).

Gays and lesbians in Zimbabwe have reportedly said that they have "given up" on their fight for same sex marriages, saying that their "conservative" nation will never accept homosexuality.

This came a few weeks after Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa told the United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group in Geneva that Zimbabwe would not be allowing homosexuality in the country.

"With regards to areas that we felt we would not accept, it is issue of gays and homosexuality, which is unlawful to our country. We rejected those. There are few countries from Europe which recommended we reconsider our position with regard to adults of same sex marrying each other that we rejected," Mnangagwa was quoted as saying at the time.

According to New Zimbabwe, Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (Galz) director, Chester Samba said that the "same marriages" issue was not even part of the recommendations his association had made ahead of the meeting in Geneva.

"We anticipated that Zimbabwe was not going to approve recommendations addressing LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or intersex issues because we understood the context in Zimbabwe, how politicised the issue is. So, we never expected Zimbabwe to give any positive pronouncement around same sex conduct," Samba was quoted as saying.

Samba said that Africa was not ready to accept homosexuality.

"Same sex marriage is an issue Africa is not ready to deal with and we (Zimbabweans) also as a community are not yet there in terms of addressing the issues that are addressing LGBTI," said Samba.

Zimbabwe remained a hugely anti-homosexual country, with President Robert Mugabe, 92, often lambasting gays and lesbians.

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