Mogae backtracks on Mugabe

Former Botswana President Festus Mogae has denied reports that he attacked President Robert Mugabe over the latter’s anti-gay stance, claiming he was quoted out of context.


Mogae told Botswana’s weekly newspaper, Mmegi, that he was never interviewed by journalists from the United Nations’ online magazine Africa Renewal, saying the only time he spoke about gay issues was when he presented a formal speech at the UN meeting last September.

“I never mentioned Mugabe or any President in my speech. I made the speech at a UN meeting last September,” Mogae reportedly said.

“What I said is that I used to hold the same beliefs as my African counterparts with regards to LGBT issues, but I have since been converted. The only country I mentioned at the UN meeting is South Africa which I said is the most liberal when it comes to issues concerning LGBT groups.”


Mogae’s alleged attack on Mugabe had attracted a backlash from Zimbabwean authorities who described the former Botswana leader as singing for his supper.

Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Christopher Mushohwe said: “That is the problem with most African leaders, they think if they are in Europe, they are Europeans, if they are in America, they are Americans.”

In the online magazine, Africa Renewal, Mogae is alleged to have urged Mugabe and other African leaders to accept LGBT groups.

When asked about his views on lesbians and gays by Africa Renewal, Mogae said: “In my long interaction with LGBT groups and extensive research, I have come to the realisation that we are limited in our knowledge and must be open to new discoveries. I have been converted, I used to hold the same beliefs as my counterparts. Mugabe has said that he hates homosexuals and is on record as saying they are worse than pigs and dogs. That is still his position. Leadership is not always about you, it is about people and often circumstances. I call upon African leaders to open up to second generation rights.”

Mogae was asked about the perception by some African leaders that it was un-African to legalise and decriminalise homosexuality.

Mogae recently called on African countries to legalise homosexuality and prostitution in a bid to effectively fight HIV and Aids.

“I don’t understand it (homosexuality). I am a heterosexual. I look at women. I don’t look at other men. But there are men who look at other men. These are citizens,” Mogae said in an interview with the BBC, calling for legalisation of homosexuality in Botswana a few years ago.

The Botswana government is reportedly reluctant to recognise LGBT groups.

16 Responses to Mogae backtracks on Mugabe

  1. Tendekayi.TR February 1, 2016 at 7:50 am #

    How you define a thing determines how you approach it. The Western world defines LGBT tolerant countries as ‘liberal’ and ‘promoting freedoms’ and Africans in general define LGBT practices as sexual perversion. Question is, which definition should we adopt?

  2. Alheit-nemoyowese February 1, 2016 at 8:13 am #

    Comment about the American air-base in your country a lounge-pad when attacking African countries

    • sky February 1, 2016 at 9:33 am #

      Botswana is so small populatin that ZDF can invade the whole country in a few weeks thats why they allowed America to have a base in their country- for protection. America has been allowed to set up bases in countries that face threats like South Korea and Japan. We protected Kabila didn’t we ? why not let America protect Botswana ?

      • Robert Chatunga February 2, 2016 at 2:01 am #

        protect Botswana from who? Never heard of any country threatening Botswana.

  3. mukwerekwere February 1, 2016 at 8:26 am #


    Please furnish us with details of African countries attacked from Botswana by US forces.

  4. mhofu February 1, 2016 at 9:58 am #

    Mogae wants us to believe that humans evolve and so is their sexuality. This is not true no matter he says he has learnt new things in his interactions with the LGBT groups. These people are sexual pervets and no amount of their so called research will ever change the original God given human sexuality. Mogae is parroting for certain groups and societies who are advocating for the so called human rights who claim that you are what you feel

  5. Musona February 1, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

    Africa has always been backward since time immemorial. What if your son or daughter trun out to be gay what do you do? Disown them??? Backward morons.

  6. Musona February 1, 2016 at 12:40 pm #

    First sentence should read, “Africa has always been backward since time immemorial. What if your son or daughter turn out to be gay what do you do?

  7. WILLARD MUBVUMBI February 1, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

    Well said Mr Musona.

  8. mhofu February 1, 2016 at 2:42 pm #

    musona, i am sorry to say you are an idiot. does it make any difference if my son or daughter turns out to be gay? Do i have to start supporting them because of that? What makes you think

    you have moved with times to recognise gays? are you progressing or regressing in your way of thinking. You worse off than pigs and dogs for embracing this wierd culture.

    • Musona February 2, 2016 at 1:22 am #

      @mhofu – backward moron. Gays have always been there and will always be there whether you like them or not. There is nothing you can do about it. “Weird culture”? Who dictates what is weird and what is not weird? You and Mugabe? Tosh. Swine.

      • Sodom and Gomorah February 2, 2016 at 9:36 pm #

        Musona Zimbabwe is a Christian country….sodomy is a huge NO!!! you can go to those countries where you can be gay freely we wont hold it against you…just dont impose your beliefs on people who dont want be subject to them….Now you claim ZImbabweans are backward just because we dont want to be party to your own insatiable sexual desires to the extent of trying out “men” ???? get a life usona you are a disgrace to your own mother, father country and creator!!!!!

  9. Trigger February 1, 2016 at 3:39 pm #

    People like to obsess over these gay and lesbian issues. First of al u have to realise that rights or no rights u have absolutely no control over who sme1 chooses to slip with. You are allowed to have yo own views towards gays but when they say rights they mean not to criminalise a consentual act to the point that they are thrown in jail thats injustice. There are numerous other immoral things that people do like sleeping with married people, stealing, corruption all those are immoral and affect other people who do not even participate in them.which makes them worser acts than gays and lesbian acts. Let people have the freedom to love whoever they want wthout fear of being thrown in jail.

  10. WILLARD MUBVUMBI February 1, 2016 at 5:52 pm #

    @Trigger, true. Its none of our business if two handsome men or two beautiful ladies are kissing each other. Its their business not ours. Whether we like it or not they will keep on doing it in their privacy. Its impossible and unwise to visit each and every house and check whether the people residing there are gays, lesbians, transgender or bisexual. Mbanje is illegal but in streets it is sold and smoked. Adultery is illegal but some men and women are committing adultery. Its a waste of time going out hunting for gays when our economy is dying.

  11. favored February 1, 2016 at 8:57 pm #

    I think Zimbabwe is very surprisingly liberal when it comes to gay issues. The constitution only says ” marriage shall be between a male and a female, full stop. There is nothing written about going around hunting for gays and prosecuting them. we see gay people moving around town freely, nobody bothers about them. They have all other rights like any citizen except gay marriage. Marriage is where the issue is. SA legalised gay marriage long ago, but gays still get attached and murdered there, somethingthat we have not seen in Zim.

  12. WILLARD MUBVUMBI February 2, 2016 at 12:04 am #

    @ favored, thanks for clarifying.

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