Mugabe Issues Threat To Gays: 'We Will Chop Off Their Heads'
This latest threat came during a campaign rally in Mutare at the Aerodrome Ground. The Zimbabwean president has an extensive history of fiercely anti-gay remarks. During the rally, Mugabe told a crowd of his followers:
“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. This thing (homosexuality) seeks to destroy our lineage by saying John and John should wed, Maria and Maria should wed. Imagine this son born out of an African father...Obama says if you want aid, you should accept the homosexuality practice. Aah, we will never do that.”
According to SW Radio Africa, Mugabe has verbally attacked gay people publicly no less than seven times during the month of July alone...
"Regardless of any personal feelings about homosexuality, a country’s leader should never call for violence against any group or individual. These unprovoked utterances by a Head of State whose rallies have so far been immediately followed by a surge in harassment of political opponents, are likely to spread fear and despondency within the gay community."
Mugabe's verbal attacks have also elicited grievances from GALZ, Zimbabwe's LGBT advocacy group. The organization sent a letter to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Wednesday decrying the president's continued use of "hate speech"...
"GALZ notes with concern that ZANU PF’s instruments of intimidation and electioneering, which include the subject of gays, remains as strong as ever and is once again being used during its campaign rallies. It has become customary for the President to attempt to whip up a climate of hysterical homophobia against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people before, during and after elections."
Said "hysterical homophobia" was also why GALZ was subject to an armed assault on June 6, according to the letter, which also called for an investigation to ensure that Mugabe and his party would not hijack the political process.
Mugabe's hateful rhetoric is also being condemned by other LGBT activists throughout Africa. Frank Malaba, a South African actor and human rights activist, has also warned of the potential repercussions of such hate speech:
“Mugabe should know that his followers listen to him and so if he gives them the go-ahead to be violent and to behead gay people, they will do that. Today it is gays and lesbians, tomorrow it will be women, albinos, whites, and anyone Mugabe dislikes. This should not be allowed in an independent country.”