Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has defended President Robert Mugabe’s trips to Asia on medical grounds, saying the State had a responsibility to take care of its leaders.
There has been an outcry over the President’s travel bills, but Tsvangirai said while travel costs should be cut, the State had a responsibility to ensure the President was healthy.
“If someone is sick, what do you want him to do?” Tsvangirai said. “ . . . He is not suffering from malaria which can be easily cured here.”
President Mugabe is believed to be battling prostate cancer. Meanwhile, Tsvangirai has stuck to his guns on the controversial issue of gay rights insisting he will never persecute homosexuals. He said while as a Christian and social democrat, he did not believe in homosexuality, it was not up to him to judge them.
“My beliefs on this issue are a matter of public record. My beliefs manifest themselves in my practice. I am a Christian associated with the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe. I am a father. I am a grandfather. I am a family man,” he said.
“I am a Zimbabwean and I know the strong feelings of Zimbabweans about this issue.
“I have those strong feelings too, but in the end, Zimbabweans are making their own Constitution and it is that Constitution which will bind every Zimbabwean.
“What I refuse to do as a loyal son of God and as a social democrat is to persecute, to judge, to condemn and to vilify people for their own opinions because judgment is a preserve of God the Almighty.”
He said his actions were driven by the Bible which in Luke 6 verse 37 says: “Do not judge and you will not be judged, do not condemn and you will not be condemned” and John 8 verse 7 which reads: “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to thrown a stone . . .”
“So while I may differ with them, as a Christian and as a social democrat, I refuse to throw a stone at them,” said Tsvangirai.