West bullying Africa over gay rights
Date: Thursday, April 22 @ 16:41:48 UTC
By Sixpence Manyengavana
April 22, 2010
The West is bullying Africans into homosexuality. Many Africans subscribe to the notion that homosexuality did not exist in Africa but is only surfacing openly in the continent because of western encouragement. Africa's zero tolerance on homosexuality is full-proof that the practice is outlawed in most of the continent's countries.
South Africa became the first nation in the world to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in its constitution and it is the only nation in Africa that gives equal rights to gays. In 1993 the African National Congress (ANC) endorsed legal recognition of same-sex marriages. These provisions were echoed in their new constitution approved in 1996, meaning that gays can marry and adopt children. But not all ANC members, including the South African President Jacob Zuma, support the recognition of gay rights.
However, the rest of African countries consider homosexuality as against God's creation and that it is an evil act performed by sexual perverts – gays. In Malawi gay rights organizations work clandestinely. Recently two gay men were arrested for holding an engagement party in December 2009. They are being charged with unnatural practices and gross indecency after receiving a thorough beating from the general public. The gay couple could face up to 14 years in jail.
In Uganda, a lawmaker proposed harsh penalties for homosexuality, including the death penalty in some cases. President Yoweri Museveni came under pressure from the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after an anti-homosexuality bill which stipulates the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality" was tabled in parliament in Kampala. The US and Sweden, both big donors to Uganda, have threatened to cut off aid after the country expelled the local director of UNAIDS, the United Nations programme on HIV, for organising a meeting with Ugandan gay activists.
In Kenya the police recently broke up a gay wedding that saw the arrest of many guests. An irate mob had thronged the venue threatening to kill the participants.
Nigeria has not been spared by the western influence that is encouraging homosexuality. In Muslim northern Nigeria the penalty for homosexuality is stoning to death.
In Senegal nine Senegalese gay activists were jailed for eight years after coming out in the open following an International Aids conference attended by foreign activists who stressed the need for gays to be dealt with openly.
In Mozambique organizations in defense of the rights of the minority gays are being established though gay rights movements are not officially registered. The largest number of gays is found in Maputo. They are not fighting for the legalization of same-sex marriage but for recognition of their rights which the Mozambican society is against.
Homosexuality is also illegal in Zambia. The Zambian Minister of Home affairs was quoted as saying that homosexuality is "unAfrican" and according Zambian law it is a felony that carries a minimum prison sentence of 14 years.
Zimbabwe has joined other African nations in condemning homosexuality. Now that the country is in the process of writing a new constitution, the issue of homosexuality has been raised with MDC-T advocating for the recognition of homosexuals. President Robert Mugabe was scornful of the idea of gay rights which he said would make Zimbabwe's ancestors turn in their graves. MDC-T is just rallying behind whatever the West says in the interest of maintaining their traditional financiers no matter how scornful and unAfrican the idea may be, as long as it has been dictated to them by their "masters", they have to give it their full support.
As Zimbabweans, we should identify with our cultures and let us try to avoid humiliating ourselves by adopting foreign cultures in our constitution. Let us fight for a home-grown constitution without foreign connotations. Zimbabwe is a Christian country and if we truly follow the teachings of the Holy Bible we will not forget that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God for no other sin but homosexuality.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has gone against his party's position and sided with President Mugabe in condemning the issue of including gay rights in Zimbabwe's new constitution. Surprisingly, James Maridadi, the spokesman for Tsvangirai issued a statement contradicting his principal to the effect that what Tsvangirai said was his personal opinion and not MDC-T position. He forgets that whenever Tsvangirai responds to official issues he will be speaking from the position of authority as leader of and on behalf of MDC-T.
This is not the first time that Maridadi has spoken against his principal. When Tsvangirai finally admitted on the issue of sanctions, Maridadi professed ignorance that Zimbabwe was under economic sanctions which left Zimbabweans wondering whether he knew what economic sanctions were or he was being economic with the truth.
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