Lobengula MP Samuel Sipepa Nkomo (MDC-T) has thrown his weight behind gay rights, saying homosexuals and lesbians had equal rights as heterosexual citizens.
Nkomo told NewsDay on the sidelines of an MDC-T rally in his constituency on Sunday that homosexuals should not be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.
“He (MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai) simply wants their (gays’) basic human rights to be upheld,” Nkomo said.
This comes hardly a week after the constitution-making body, Copac, reportedly threw out MDC-T’s bid to include homosexuality into the new constitution under the clause of protecting minority rights.
President Robert Mugabe has vowed to crush homosexuality, describing gays and lesbians as “worse than dogs and pigs”.
“Tsvangirai has not said he supports or does not support gays and lesbians. He just said they have rights and people should come up with a position on how to include their basic human rights in the constitution, the same rights which we all have on the basis of us being human,” said Nkomo.
He added that the notion homosexuals were “worse than dogs and pigs” was mere Zanu PF propaganda.
“I do not think they are worse than dogs and pigs.
This view is merely Zanu PF propaganda used to undermine their (gays’) position in society,” said Nkomo.
“MDC – T welcomes anyone only because they are human. We do not discriminate and do not bother ourselves about whether someone is homosexual or not.”
He said although homosexuality was taboo in African culture, homosexuals were still human and entitled to enjoy all human rights.
Last month, Prime Minister Tsvangirai caused a storm after he reportedly claimed he wanted gay rights enshrined in the new constitution.
He reportedly told the BBC that homosexuality was a controversial subject in Zimbabwe, but expressed hope the new constitution currently being drafted would have freedom of sexual orientation, as long as that freedom did not interfere with anybody.
Speaking earlier during his rally, Sipepa Nkomo said the new constitution would bring with it changes that would improve the situation in Zimbabwe.
“I know that the new constitution which is coming will not be perfect, but one thing I can tell Zimbabweans is that it will be better than the one we currently have,” he said.