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Homosexuality, that is the romantic or sexual attraction and behavior between members of the same sex or gender, is considered taboo by society in General in Zimbabwe.

Robert Mugabe on Homosexuality

President Robert Mugabe is known to be extremely anti-homosexual. He once described homsexual as "worse than pigs and dogs". In 1995, government shut down a book exhibition by Galz at the Harare International Book Fair after which Mugabe declared: “Homosexuals are worse than dogs and pigs; dogs and pigs will never engage in homosexual madness; even insects won’t do it.”[1]

In September 2015 at the United Nations General Assembly, Mugabe said: “We equally reject attempts to prescribe new rights that are contrary to our norms, values, traditions and beliefs. We are not gays.[1]

In July 2013 Mugabe criticised US President Obama's stance on Homosexuality:

"Then we have this American president, Obama, born of an African father, who is saying we will not give you aid if you don’t embrace homosexuality. We ask, was he born out of homosexuality? We need continuity in our race, and that comes from the woman, and no to homosexuality. John and John, no; Maria and Maria, no."[2]

In 2013, Mugabe attacked South African archbishop Desmond Tutu for his pro-gay stance. He said: “Never, never, never will we support homosexuality in Zimbabwe. Archbishop Tutu said it is nice to be gay, yet he has a wife, he should have begun by getting himself a man for a woman. When you are a bishop and cannot interpret the Bible, you should resign and give it to those who can. We will not compromise our tradition and tolerate homosexuality.”

In 2010, Mugabe said: “It (the subject of gays and lesbians) is not worthy of discussion. Those that engage in such acts are insane. We cannot tolerate this; otherwise the dead will rise against us.”

Same Sex Marriages

The current constitution of Zimbabwe, which was adopted in 2013 prohibits same sex marriages.

Homosexuality in the 60s

According to people that lived during that time in Rhodesia, homosexuality was common in Salisbury Mbare hostels as well as the townships where Africans stayed. This was due to the Rhodesian government's prohibition of non-workers to live in the cities, which resulted in men not be able to stay with their wives. Fay Chung, who was a teacher at a secondary school during the 60s said in her book Re-living the Second Chimurenga:

The colonial laws made it illegal for black workers to live with their wives in a city. These men lived in hostels, where homosexuality and prostitution were common practice. Destitute children became easy victims.

... young homeless boys, they were often “befriended” by older men, who would exploit them homosexually in return for supporting them and paying their school fees [3]

She also wrote:

Another palpable fear that haunted younger men was the fear of rape. Young men and boys were sought after by older men, and in a period of chaos and violence, they had no protection. Homosexuality was very common in the townships, where wives were banned, since the colonial regime only allowed “workers” to live in cities. Ninety-nine per

cent of these workers were men. [4]

Homosexuality in Prisons

Zimbabwe has a high rate of homosexuality in prisons.[5]

Homosexual rights in Zimbabwe

Notable Homosexual People in Zimbabwe


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wongai Zhangazha, Mugabe comes face-to-face with gays, The Zimbabwe Independent, Published:27 November 2015, Retrieved: 10 September 2016
  2. Max Fisher, Why Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe is making homophobic jokes about Obama, Vox, Published: 30 June 2015, Retrieved: September 2016
  3. Fay Chung, Re-living the Second Chimurenga, Memories from the Liberation Struggle in Zimbabwe. Page:53. Weaver Press, 2006. ISBN 91-710655-1-2.
  4. Fay Chung, Re-living the Second Chimurenga, Memories from the Liberation Struggle in Zimbabwe. Page:59. Weaver Press, 2006. ISBN 91-710655-1-2.
  5. Phyllis Mbanje, Zimbabweans indifferent to prison homosexuality, NewsDay, Published:14 july 2016, Retrieved: 10 September 2016