Addressing a rally of thousands of Zimbabwe African National Union supporters in Mutare, Zimbabwe last week, President Robert Mugabe vowed to continue to criminalize homosexuality, saying gay men and women "worse than pigs, goats and birds" and threatening to behead them, reported News Day.
Not only are gay people under attack, however. Mugabe also called out men who are perceived as gay and men who live under the same roof and fail to produce children.
"If you take men and lock them in a house for five years and tell them to come up with two children and they fail to do that, then we will chop off their heads," Mugabe said.
According to Amnesty International’s 2012 annual global rights report, discrimination is worsening "in Africa over people’s sexual orientation or gender identity."
The organization said that in October of 2011 two men were arrested in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, after being assaulted by mobs for allegedly being gay. Even after the men were cleared of the charges of engaging in homosexuality, Mugabe’s party militants repeatedly threatened violence against the men’s lawyers.
One of the main reasons Mugabe opposes homosexuality is that it threatens women’s God-given right to bear children.
"Mothers were given the talent to bear children. That talent doesn’t belong to men," Mugabe said at a women’s HIV/Aids and gender rights conference in Harare, reported the Associated Press.
"When a man says he wants to get married to another man, we in Zimbabwe don’t accept it. We can’t talk of women’s rights at all if we go in that direction. It will lead to extinction," he said.
Still women’s rights are hardly human rights to Mugabe.
"Our customs look down on women as inferior," he said at the women’s HIV/Aids and gender rights conference. "Men pay cattle and money to get a wife and expect women to obey them. Women will surely lose. Men say that women are not as knowledgeable as us."
In a time where political leaders, like President Barrack Obama and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, are defending the rights of LGBTQ people, Mugabe vehemently insists that homosexuality is not a human right.
Amnesty International said human rights defenders were arrested, detained and tortured under Mugabe’s rule. In meetings with United Nations’ human rights chief, Navi Pillay, Mugabe’s party has denied the existence of state-sponsored political violence, the AP reports.
"Imagine this son born out of an African father," Mugabe said of the US president, "Obama says if you want aid, you should accept the homosexuality practice. Aah, we will never do that."
From our media partner EDGEMichael Cox