President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has announced that, as he was just informed that there are LGBT people in his country, he wants to “check on who is in that group.”
Mugabe has ruled the nation for twenty-seven years over seven terms. With a population of 13.72 million, it’s likely that over a million of Zimbabwe’s citizens could have cause to fear for their lives, just like in Nigeria and Uganda.
According to Towleroad, he “has an extensive history of fiercely anti-gay remarks”—including a statement that since two men cannot make a baby, they should be decapitated.
Gay Star News reported that at his only daughter’s wedding reception, held over the weekend of March 1, Mugabe gave a speech in which he said, “I understand we have a group of homosexuals in this country.
“I didn’t know until I was told the day before yesterday. So we want to check on who is in that group.”
State media reported that he also spoke favorably of Uganda’s anti-gay laws, and denounced the Western view of what constitutes human rights.
Adding to the unlikelihood that Mugabe was genuinely ignorant of the existence of the local LGBT community, the Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe (GALZ) has been active in the country for years—and a case brought against it by the Zimbabwean government itself was thrown out only days before his speech.