|Stephane Tchakam, Charge de Communication Pan Africa ILGA|
Statements by President Robert Mugabe castigating gays and lesbians at the burial of Menard Muzariri at the National Heroes Acre on Thursday 14 April are nothing new and only serve to reinforce our call for constitutional protection of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersex people that has been met with state sponsored homophobia of alarming levels.
It is time for the Zimbabwean government to reflect seriously on its thinking around human rights including those of its lesbian and gay citizens and Government should be implementing measures which proactively encourage a culture of meaningful human rights protection in this country.
Statements by the President are a contradiction of article VII of the Global Political agreement in which the President pledges to promote equality, national healing, cohesion and unity. The President should strive to “create an environment of tolerance and respect among Zimbabweans ad that all citizens are treated with dignity and decency”.
Activists in Zimbabwe are not puppets of foreign forces, as government would have everyone believe: we want a responsible government that is responsive to the needs of all Zimbabweans and we are fighting for our own good and for our own benefit as citizens of Zimbabwe.
The President needs to provide leadership in overcoming Zimbabwe’s challenges in areas such as violence, unemployment, education and health rather than fostering antipathy and intolerance.