Mugabe calls British PM `satanic` for backing gay rights

Mugabe has for decades ranted against homosexuality, and his latest speech again threatened to punish gay Zimbabweans.

Updated: Nov 24, 2011, 18:34 PM IST

Harare: Zimbabwe`s President Robert Mugabe
has called British Prime Minister David Cameron "satanic" for
considering withholding aid from countries that do not respect
gay rights, state media said on Thursday.

"It becomes worse and satanic when you get a prime
minister like Cameron saying countries that want British aid
should accept homosexuality," Mugabe said in a speech
yesterday in the mining town of Shurugwi, 300 kilometres south
of Harare.

"To come with that diabolic suggestion to our people is a
stupid offer," he said, according to the state-run Herald
newspaper.

At the end of the Commonwealth summit in October, Cameron
said that countries receiving British aid should respect human
rights, including gay rights.

The issue has re-emerged as Zimbabwe drafts a new
constitution, with debate on whether to follow neighbouring
South Africa`s model and include gay rights in the charter.

Mugabe has for decades ranted against homosexuality, and
in his latest speech again threatened to punish gay
Zimbabweans.

"Do not get tempted into that (homosexuality). You are
young people. If you go that direction, we will punish you
severely," Mugabe said.

"It is condemned by nature. It is condemned by insects and
that is why I have said they are worse than pigs and dogs," he
said, according to The Herald.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who formed a unity
government with Mugabe in 2009, has said that he supports gay
rights but that gays should "do their things in private".

More recently he said that the people of Zimbabwe will
decide what they want in their constitution, which will clear
the way for new elections.

The constitution process is running more than a year
behind schedule, with a referendum on the charter expected
only next year.

PTI