Opinion / Columnist
Zimbabwe is open for business but not open for Gay Rights
13 Mar 2018 at 05:48hrs | Views
The new Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa spoke on LGBT equality subject for the first time as president, during an interview with CNN's Richard Quest at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Mnangangwa turned to the constitution saying his hands are tight after being pressed on whether he was going to change laws to allow same-sex marriage and protect the rights of gays. In his words he said, "In our constitution it is banned – and it is my duty to obey my constitution". Speaking at Davos, Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa tells Richard Quest that the country is "Open for Business" but protecting human rights for its citizens especially gays and lesbians are not in his mandate. The new president continues with the homophobic tyranny and in a diplomatic way conveniently hides behind the country's constitution. Davos might sound a long time ago to many but not the LGBTI community of Zimbabwe. I write as one such woman with a sexual preference for the same sex as myself when I am not doubling up as bisexual (not often). Hey I am not the only black Zimbabwean of African descent living this way. There are tens of thousands of us living in fear in Zimbabwe. Most of the LGBTI community from Zimbabwe has been forced to flee the country for friendlier frontiers like South Africa and the UK.
President Mnangagwa has been promising democratic reforms and a return to respect of human rights. The expression of preferred sexual orientation is enshrined in the Human Rights conventions. I appeal to the president to open up business for the LGBTI by allowing partners to choose who to be intimate with, where and when, as long as this does not interfere with the private lives of others. We are talking here of consenting adults doing what they do behind their closed bedroom doors. Openness can be signalled by facilating a national dialogue on Gay Rights. It may come as a surprise that Zimbabweans have come of age and now accept the world as it is at present. Gay Rights are inevitable. While we are still a long way off open gay marriage, we can start being progressive by allowing the LGBT to be free to work, live and love in a free society. Dear President this is the litmus test that stands between your legacy and being recognised as the man who brought human rights sanity in Zimbabwe.
Source - Thamie T
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