HARARE, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWE and the United States (US) are again on a collision course over Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Life (LGBTQI) issues.
The tensions have resurfaced amid the commemorations of Pride Month (June) as the US expressed concern at the alleged discrimination faced by these members of the community and pledged its support to them.
The stance by the American embassy in Harare came despite the host country’s stance against same-sex relationships.
The US Embassy tweeted: “#PrideMonth celebrates the #LGBTQI+ community, your sons and daughters, brothers and sisters – all proud Zimbabweans. It is also a time to reflect on the discrimination many still face. @PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) recommits our support to inclusive LGBTQI healthcare. #Pride2021.”
This drew sharp criticism from Zimbabweans across the political divide, with the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF) and arch-rivals Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) factions in a rare share of unity on an issue of national interest.
One Marufu reacted: “Disgusting. This will never happen in Zimbabwe, go and celebrate in the USA,” while Brighton Sanzira concurred: “The generality of Zimbabweans don’t agree with this (LGBTQI). We are not proud of this. Its moral decadence. It remains an abomination.”
Darrell Chizinga, an MDC-A activist responded to the USA tweet saying: “As an MDC-A, cadre, I value people’s freedom but for gays and lesbians I don’t. It’s not only evil but satanic.”
Khulisani Ndlela posed a question to the US embassy in Harare: “I have a question. Who decides what to celebrate and when to celebrate it?”
Tony Stark outrightly rejected the US sentiment: “Stop forcing this (LGBTQI) on people that don’t accept it!”
Idi Chiunduro reminded the US: “Zimbabwe’s laws criminalise homosexuality and you (USA) should respect that. Don’t push on us using aid as bait.”
Chiunduro’s tweet was embraced by Cornelius Zimunhu, who tweeted: “Respect our national flag please, we are not gays. Practice your culture of gays and lesbians in America not in Zimbabwe. Our hospitality which we offered you is not our weakness but our strength. Respect us and our culture.”
One Lyta insisted: “We will never celebrate such.”
Mazani Dziviro made sarcasm in the US Embassy saying: “Animals know the difference between male and female. Only the dead don’t know if they are male or female. We don’t need this in Zimbabwe.”
Eria The Tishbite said: “They (LGBTQI) are worse than pigs and dogs, a man sleeps with a man, woman with a woman, and you say that human rights – bullshit!”
Theo Chids angrily reacted: “Go and celebrate that in your country. Nonsense!,” while Macliod Zuriel Musekiwa said: “We don’t do that here in Zimbabwe. Why should we? God said it’s an abomination before Him so we would rather please God than you (USA).”
Don Gorleone reacted: “Not in Africa. Go to Sodom.”
Another opposition activist, Boss Mhofela, said: “We thank you (USA) for the support against ZANU-PF, but please don’t (push) for this practise (LGBTQI) on us. Zimbabweans are unanimous on this position and against such perversions.”
Former Zimbabwe’s iron ruling president Robert Mugabe once described gays and lesbians as “worse than dogs and pigs.”
The US at the turn of the millennium slapped sanctions on Zimbabwe, alleging human rights abuses. Zimbabwe accuses the superpower of seeking to effect regime change.
– CAJ News