|Stephane Tchakam, Charge de Communication Pan Africa ILGA|
For a long time now some politicians have been using the issue of homosexuality to gain political mileage. The spate of cheap ‘politricks’ by these power hungry fellows is legendary.
As Zimbabwe undergoes a constitutional reform process, these politicians have gone all out to hoodwink people into believing that for some reason homosexuality is the enemy that is causing their suffering. Instead of addressing the real issues that citizens are concerned about, politicians use the platform to dish out a barrage of rhetoric deriding homosexuality.
Today the Anglican church of Zimbabwe is in shambles, this is just but one example of how homosexuality is being used to further peoples own interests and satisfy people’s iron appetite for power. People have been led to believe that homosexuality is the reason hate and violence reign supreme in what is supposed to be the house of God. What is really sad about this situation is that innocent people are dragged along to fight for a non existent cause.
Politicians and men of the cloth alike have taken it upon themselves to churn out homophobic balderdash fanning the flames of stigma and discrimination against Lesbian Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community who are not only citizens of the country but children of God as well.
What is disturbing is the fact that the pulpit is also being used by these politicians to spread hate. Recently the President of Zimbabwe while at the Apostolic sect of Marange Passover ceremony he fulminated that there would be no rights for gay people in the new constitution and warned activists against supporting gay rights. He spoke about how the bible condemns homosexuality and once again described homosexuality as worse than dog behavior.
There is a leader who was attending a ceremony of a sect which is notoriously known for not immunizing children and engaging in forced marriages of young girls to polygamous older men. Instead he said the Zimbabwean Constitution legalised polygamy he even cited examples of polygamous men in the bible . This was an opportunity for the man to openly speak about the importance of having children immunized or protection of the rights of a girl child. But alas it had to be homosexuality!
It is a shame really to see how people use the bible to support their own agendas yet the universal message in the bible is love. Such hate speech and prohibitive laws do not deter homosexual people but only makes them vulnerable.
After reading a front page article with the heading ‘No gay rights in the Constitution’, a plethora of questions rang in my mind. I had questions yesterday I still have them today and my questions will still stand tomorrow. What has homosexuality to do with the thousand of Zimbabweans wallowing in abject poverty, the crumbling health delivery system, the educational system which is in the intensive care, the youths fleeing their own country, the victims of political violence, the homeless family…?