ZIMBABWE: The Government controlled newspaper, the SUNDAY NEWS (07-13 February 2010, page 3), reports that chiefs are lobbying for the restoration of their powers to enable them to bring to an end "alien concepts such as homosexuality".
The President of the Zimbabwe Chief's Council, Chief Fortune Charumbira is reported to have said that traditional leaders expected a constitution with a bill of rights completely interwoven with the country's cultural values.
"...it is disheartening to note that there were people who were openly advocating for the smuggling and inclusion of homosexuality in the constituion. People should resist all attempts by misguided citizens to smuggle same sex marriages. Even the platform to discuss such issues should not be accirded," says Chief Charumbira.
Chief Charumbira adds, "In Uganda they have passed a law that says homosexuals should be killed and we will soon advocate for that if the call continue. We will not sit back and watch while the country is being highjacked. Homosexuality is alien to Zimbabwe. It is taboo."
The report in the Sunday News comes at a time when Zimbabwe is struggling to make meaningful progress to draft a new constitution that is people driven.
Human Rights activists on the ground are currently lobbying for the inclusion of the phrase 'sexual orientation' under the non discrimination clause to ensure that LGBTQI persons' rights are recognised in the new constitution. However, critics are saying the inclusion of the phrase may result in the majority of people voting NO during the referendum.
A similar incident happened in 2000 when the country voted "NO" when they did not agree on a minor aspect in the constitution.
The article that appeared in the Sunday News is part of a media campaigned aimed at ensuring that the new constitution does not protect sexual minorities.
Comments by Chief Charumbira raise alarm to the LGBTQI community in the country. Many fear that the governement will spearhead a campaign to eliminate sexual minorities while using the Uganda case as a good example.
Chief Charumbira described homosexuality as "a social wrong that progressive minds should resist formibadably adding that such elements were a disgrace to nation builing."
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