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Thursday 30 October  
Pillay and Mugabe
Hararae, Zimbabwe
Hararae, Zimbabwe

Mugabe and Pillay clash on gay rights

Published on : 25 May 2012 - 1:27pm | By RNW Africa Desk (Photo: AFP)
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President Robert Mugabe on Thursday clashed with visiting United Nations rights chief after the veteran leader denounced gays and lesbians while the UN boss said countries must stop “criminalising homosexuals and sex work.”

From our top partner RadioVop Zimbabwe

Mugabe was speaking at the Harare International Conference Centre at the launch of the Global Power Women Network for Africa, which aims to accelerate women empowerment and gender equality in the area of HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights.

No gay rights
The 88 year old leader who spoke after Pillay's speech said Zimbabwe and Africa did not condone gay rights.

"When a man says he wants to get married to a man, we in Zimbabwe do not accept it. In most Africa we do not accept it. We can't talk of women's rights anymore once we go in that direction,” Mugabe said.

"As deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe stated, she and she alone has the womb. I don't know what others believe in the gay world but we don't live in that world in Africa. We realise that there are mothers who by nature are given that talent, and that talent to bear the child in their womb, that talent doesn't belong to men, it certainly doesn't.”

Adam and Eva
"The bible tells us even the Lord Almighty when he created Adam he knew Adam alone. The Lord Almighty gave him a different I would like to say species and that’s the species with the womb and Adam was happy. We can't talk of woman rights anymore when we go into that direction as Madame Thokozani Khupe said if women, all women in the world stop bearing children what would happen to us, extinction of course, that’s the way to go,” he added.

Earlier Pillay in her remarks at the conference said the world required leadership that will make a decision on several issues that include “property inheritance and child custody rights for widows, early marriage, sex education for young people, sexual violence and marital rape, access to full range of modern contraceptive methods, criminalisation of homosexuality and sex work, stigma associated with HIV and unwanted pregnancies."

Pillay said women had been marginalised for long adding that causes of death in women included HIV and AIDS and complications at giving birth.

Global Power meeting
The Global Power Women network whose president is Khupe was launched through the assistance of UNAIDS and the African Union.

The Global Power meeting was attended by UNAIDS executive director, Michel Sidibe, deputy chairperson of the African Union commission Erastus Mwencha, US ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Professor Arthur Mutambara, the deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe and several Members of parliament from different countries across Africa.

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