President Mugabe uses inauguration speech to say: ‘Homosexuality a filthy, filthy disease’

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Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has launched a new attack on the West and Zimbabwe’s LGBT community.

Mr Mugabe made the remarks at his inauguration after his party, ZANU-PF, won the country’s election earlier this month. It is the seventh consequtive win for his party after a series of elections that were heavily criticised by the international community. The most recent election results have been met with accusations of vote rigging and fraud.

The president reserved part of his inauguration speech for attacking gay people within in the country. In a rambling speech, he urged young Zimbabweans to “damn” homosexuality. He added: “That [homosexuality] destroys nations, apart from it being a filthy, filthy disease,” he said. Ahead of the election, he said that gays should be castrated.

He attacked Western countries as “the vile ones whose moral turpitude we must mourn.”

Throughout his election campaign vocal attacks on the country’s gay population were a prominent feature, in one attack he urged for the heads of gay men to be chopped off and described them as being worse than pigs. He described homosexuals as worse than animals because “they know who to mate with.”

In a speech during his campaign Mugabe attacked President Obama for linking foreign aid to the protection of gay rights and called on the US to keep out of Zimbabwe’s affairs.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) – the country’s domestic monitoring agency as well as several Western nations have expressed concern about the outcome of the elections after irregularities on polling day.

Homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe and Mugabe has been a staunch promoter of homophobic persecution since he became President in 1987.