Gay rights in a sinking titanic

Morgan Tsvangirai, as the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe and President of the MDC, is a leader in a diverse nation made up of people who have different, religious, cultural and political beliefs.

The recent debate on gay rights in Zimbabwe can best be equated to playing cards on the deck while the titanic is sinking. The debate on gay rights is not new to Zimbabwe, the homophobic regime of Robert Mugabe has sought to persecute gays and lesbians for years, just as it has sought to annihilate anyone opposed to its misrule.

Trend of intolerance

It is therefore demonstrably foolhardy for anyone to jump to any quick conclusion which insinuates that our country’s socio-political problems will be resolved by our collective persecution of a minority of gay people, while letting those who constitute the real danger to our national security off the hook. It only exposes a worrisome trend of intolerance which, if not nipped in the bud while we debate a new democratic, people-centred constitution, will lead us nowhere.

The Premier recently recognised the rights of gays, and called on an otherwise conservative society to stop persecuting them. The Premier’s argument stems from the understanding that the only good reason for exercising power over a member of a civilized community, is to prevent harm to others.

The proper interpretation of his proclamations in relation to morality is that the law must only enforce morality to prevent harm to others, but the lifestyle of homosexuals certainly harms no-one. A failure to understand this has led to situations of real human rights violations in Africa, with some raped, beaten up, or even burnt alive because of their sexual orientation.

God hates the sin and not the sinner. It is by his Grace that we alcoholics, adulterers, thieves and murderers are saved, not by our works. This is the same gift of Grace that even the most vile of despots is also entitled to.

While the intricate debate on homosexuality rages on, some real injustices have been committed. Recently, the persecution of MDC leaders has escalated. Solomon Madzore, the national youth chairman, remains behind bars on trumped up charges, his organising secretary, Simangaliso Chikadaya, was last Wednesday night seriously injured after being attacked by Zanu (PF) thugs in Budiriro, Harare. Chikadaya is recovering from a broken leg and other injuries.

National leaders, including elected Members of Parliament and Honourable Ministers, have not been spared; they are being terrorised left, right and centre, as part of Zanu (PF)’s new strategy of violence. Residents, retail owners and various others, have no reprieve from marauding bands of youth organised under the group, Chipangano.

Who is running Zim?

There is more to be terrified of than lesbians and gays in Zimbabwe. Where is the power or authority? Who is running the country?

The three leaders who represent the political entities in the power-sharing government are being rendered obsolete. Tsvangirai cannot order the police to allow his rallies, or stop them from stealing food-stuffs bought for his supporters.

Consequently, there has been drama and intrigue in the former ruling party. What is clear is that the face of Zanu (PF) as of November 2011 is different from the vibrant Zanu (PF) of 2008. The fissures in Zanu (PF) are clearer. Goliath is on his knees.

The unresolved murder of former retired army General Solomon Mujuru, the firing from COPAC of Chindori-Chininga, the weekend arrest of the businessmen, again linked to the Mujuru faction, Simba Mangwende and Farai Rwodzi, never ending wrangling in all their structures – all point to a change in Zanu (PF).

So, for as long as Zanu PF is insecure about its future, the whole country is held hostage, terrorised by a small ruling elite, that wants to continue with the luxury of ‘eating’ or looting our resources like there is no tomorrow.

Post published in: Politics
  1. Martin L. King

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