Harare – Several United Nations agencies have reportedly condemned Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s recent remarks on homosexuality at the UN General Assembly in New York.
Mugabe, 91, made headlines last week when he again openly told the West his country will not accept homosexuality. Mugabe told the UN General Assembly: "We are not gays."
Addressing what he called the "new" human rights agenda being pushed by the West and referring specifically to the issue of homosexuality, Mugabe, who is also the current African Union (AU) chair, said: "We reject attempts to prescribe new rights contrary to our values, norms, traditions and beliefs. We are not gays."
A News Day report said on Monday that Mugabe’s tough stance against homosexuality had angered donors, who have since signed a statement condemning member states still discriminating on grounds of sexual orientation.
Part of the statement read: "While welcoming increasing efforts in many countries to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, we remain seriously concerned around the world, millions of LGBTI individuals, those perceived as LGBTI and their families face widespread human rights violations. This is cause for alarm – and action."
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The agencies including the UN Development Programme, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) and UN Children’s Fund were the country’s leading humanitarian aid providers, the report said.
This came as US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton also reportedly expressed concern over Mugabe’s remarks.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, Clinton responded to Mugabe over the weekend as she outlined her vision for advancing gay rights.
"I'm guessing the LGBT activists in prison in Zimbabwe would disagree with [Mugabe] if ever given a chance to have a platform," Clinton was quoted as saying.
Homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe and Mugabe has in previous years made headlines after he told gay people to go to "hell". He also stated those of homosexual orientation were lower than "pigs, goats and birds".
Last year, Mugabe made headlines after he said gay rights were not human rights, adding Zimbabwe would never let children grow up thinking there was an alternative to the God-prescribed marriage system.