UK’s ‘mad’ threats

The UK’s recent threats to cut aid to countries where homosexuality is illegal is ‘madness’ according to President Robert Mugabe.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said last month those receiving British aid should respect gay rights. But President Mugabe, Africa’s fiercest homosexual critic, said Britain was making “unholy demands”.

The inclusion of gay rights in Zimbabwe’s new constitution has divided the inclusive government, with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai under fire for supporting gay rights.

Cameron raised the issue of gay rights at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, in Perth, Australia, last month. He said those receiving UK aid should “adhere to proper human rights”.

Ending the ban on homosexuality was one of the recommendations of an internal report into the future relevance of the Commonwealth.

Mugabe, speaking at the launch of a food aid scheme in Harare over the weekend, accused Cameron of having a colonial mentality.

“You heard British Prime Minister Cameron saying all those countries that need help from Britain must accept gay rights. I said to myself, ‘This is madness!’,” said Mugabe.

The President claimed that the inclusion of gay rights in the new draft charter was slowing progress on the constitutional reform exercise.

“Things are very slow in the constitution-making process and we are beginning to lose patience.”

Cameron’s threat applies only to one type of bilateral aid known as general budget support, and would not reduce the overall amount of aid to any one country.

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