Mugabe backs Uganda’s anti-gay laws

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has thrown his weight behind Uganda's draconian anti-gay laws and hinted at a crackdown on homosexuals in his own country, state media reported on Monday.

He castigated the West for punishing Kampala with aid cuts after President Yoweri Museveni signed into law a Bill that banned homosexuality in the east African country.

"They [the West] want to tell us … that it's a violation of human rights, that is what they are doing to Museveni right now," said Mugabe.

"The human right you have as a man is to marry another woman, not to get another man to marry. We refuse that," said Mugabe at the weekend wedding reception of his only daughter, Bona.

Mugabe has said previously that homosexuality is un-African and has described gays and lesbians as worse than pigs and dogs.

'Terrible world'
"It's a terrible world we are in, a terrible world where people want to do things that they feel will enhance their own interests."

Mugabe said until recently that he was not aware of the existence of an association of homosexuals in Zimbabwe and warned that he would want to know who belongs to the group.

"I understand we have a group of homosexuals in this country. I didn't know until I was told the day before yesterday. So we want to check on who is in that group," he said.

Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (Galz) has long operated in the country despite Mugabe's ranting against homosexuality.

Police have raided the Galz offices on several occasions and prosecutors laid charges against the association, accusing it of operating an unregistered organisation. But a magistrate dismissed the case last week.

Same-sex marriages are outlawed in Zimbabwe. – AFP

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