In America, calling someone gay is pretty standard procedure. Hell, annoying things like malfunctioning X-Boxes and Christmas sweaters get called gay all the time. But in Zimbabwe, accusing someone of homosexuality—particularly the tyrannical dictator president—gets you thrown in jail.
The Daily Nation reports that Lillian Kirenyi, a legislator from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, was arrested on Tuesday after claiming that President Mugabe (right) had engaged in gay sex with former Information minister Jonathan Moyo (who criticized Tsvangirai recently) and late ex-president Canaan Banana, who was jailed in 1999 for having affairs with his bodyguards and staffers.
In an address to party supporters, Kirenyi allegedly claimed: “[President Mugabe’s party] Zanu PF has been attacking MDC president Tsvangirai, alleging he is pro-homosexuals. Yet Robert Mugabe has practiced homosexuality with [Professor] Jonathan Moyo and Canaan Banana.”
This is a bad political move for Kirenyi for two number reasons:
First, it’s usually not best practice to accuse your authoritarian leader of anything negative, especially something petty like this.
Second, MDC president Tsvangirai is “pro-homosexuals.” He might not be march in a Pride parade, but in late October, he stated to Think Progress that he hopes the “new constitution will have freedom of sexual orientation.”
We’re not fans of Kirenyi but we hopes she’s sprung from the can soon. A new election doesn’t have to happen till 2013, which means she and other legislators have at least a year to lob more homophobic accusations at each other.
That should go smoothly!
Photo via Jeremy Lock