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A group of men armed with guns, iron bars, and other blunt objects assaulted and injured some thirty-five attendees of a function organized by the Gays And Lesbians of Zimbabwe, a community volunteering group. According to GALZ’s account of the events, between 12 and 15 men stormed their way into the gathering in an orchestrated display of anti-LGBT violence, “demanding cash and gadgets from the members present in the hall whilst attacking them.”
GALZ is likening the attack to a “militia acting on someone’s superior orders to orchestrate violence,” and many signs point to Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, who is no friend of the gays. In a similar show of violence, the youth division of the Mugabe-aligned Zanu-PF party stormed GALZ’s offices in 2013.
“President Mugabe’s rhetoric has created a climate and culture of impunity and lawlessness,” GALZ intoned. “As evidenced by the actions of these thuggish men to hunt down LGBTI people in our communities, vicinities, and homes to inflict harm.”
Chad is likely to become the 37th African country to outlaw homosexuality after politicians voted in favor of a proposed law that would make same-sex relations a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison, reports The Guardian.
According to Amnesty International, same-sex relations are illegal - and in some punishable by death - in 36 of Africa’s 54 countries.
Chad’s penal code does not explicitly mention homosexuality but the proposed amendment states the punishment for anyone who has sexual intercourse with someone of the same sex is 15 to 20 years in jail and a fine of 50,000-500,000 Central African francs (around $100-$1,000).
Government officials have said that the measure, which has yet to be ratified by President Idriss Déby, is intended to “protect the family and to comply with Chadian society”.
The Robert F Kennedy Centre for Justice and Human Rights called on Déby to strike down the proposed law:
“By criminalising homosexuality, Chad’s proposed penal code is an instrument of discrimination, not of justice. I urge president Déby and the Chadian parliament to reject any attempts to make prejudice the law of the land.”
Florent Geel, Africa director of the International Federation of Human Rights, said that although it is to be welcomed that the proposed bill would abolish the death penalty, this positive “is unfortunately marred by the criminalisation of homosexuality.”
According to Geel, while the reform of the penal code had been in preparation for 10 years, the question of homosexuality, while considered immoral, had never been an issue in Chad.
A number of countries in Africa have recently enacted severe anti-gay laws. Some observers believe this may be a response to the increased visibility and assertiveness of LGBT people in Africa. However, US evangelical Christians - chief among them Scott Lively - have been widely blamed for instigating draconian anti-gay legislation in Uganda and other countries.
In January, the Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, signed into law a bill criminalising same-sex “amorous relationships” and membership of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights groups.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe regularly attacks LGBT people in speeches and recently said he resented - but continues to accept - western aid because it depends on conditions such as accepting homosexuality.
Although Uganda’s harsh anti-gay law was struck down by judges on a technicality, it is expected to be reintroduced by MPs.
Anti-gay Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe has said that he prefers aid from China because aid from Western countries always comes with conditions such as accepting homosexuality, reports The Telegraph.
Speaking to a TV reporter during a trip to China, Mugabe praised Beijing for being "very constructive" in its assistance towards Zimbabwe:
"Whereas Europe and America, when they give little funding assistance to countries they always attach conditions. And that is our objection."
Mugabe, who nonetheless accepted international aid to the tune of $715 million in 2011 and has in the past threatened to jail and behead gay people, last railed against the ignominy of receiving aid from gay-loving countries back in March when he voiced his support for Uganda’s draconian anti-gay laws.
Watch a CCTV Africa report on Mugabe's recent visit to China, AFTER THE JUMP...
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe used a speech on Friday to speak out against gay rights and countries seeking to punish African nations who punish homosexuality, threatening to expel pro-gay diplomats.
"Some years ago, l was warned that there was some secret organisation of that nature which was addressing young men...to join them as homosexuals. This nonsense from Europe, keep their homosexual nonsense there and not cross over with it....We did not fight for this Zimbabwe so it can be a homosexual territory. We will never have that here and if there are any diplomats who will talk of any homosexuality, just tell me. We will kick them out of the country without any excuse. We won’t even listen."
Mugabe added that the world will never see homosexuality decriminalized in Zimbabwe:
"They even refuse today that if a man has sex with another man it’s wrong, its sodomy. If you pass a law that rejects homosexual marriages, ‘we will punish you’ like what they are doing to Uganda and us. And they say they want you to believe that if a man gets another man and they have a homosexual relationship, they have human rights to do so. If you pass a law that rejects homosexual marriages, ‘we will punish you’ like what they are doing to Uganda and us. And they say they want you to believe that if a man gets another man and they have a homosexual relationship, they have human rights to do so."
"What is wrong is wrong and cannot be right but they say no, human beings are free to marry each other, and look at the absurdity of it all, when God created the world, we leant from the Bible, He created animals, forests, lastly He created man. Because man was lonely, He got from the side of man, a rib and created a woman...that’s the start of society as we know it from the bible."
Zimbabwe President Mugabe Just Learned There are Homosexuals in His Country, Backs Uganda's Anti-Gay Law
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe spoke out in support of Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Law on Monday and condemned Western nations for threatening to cut aid, AFP reports.
"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...The human right you have as a man is to marry another woman not to get another man to marry, we refuse that. 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 also said that he has become aware of a group of gays in Zimbabwe and plans to investigate:
"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."
AFP notes: "The Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe (GALZ) has long operated in the country despite Mugabe's ranting against homosexuality. Police have on several occasions raided the GALZ offices and prosecutors had laid charges against the association accusing it of operating an unregistered organisation."
“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.”
Mugabe has previously claimed that gay men pose a threat to women's rights, condemned the "gay filth" of European culture, as well as threatened the U.K.'s prime minister over their support of same-sex couples.