Zim re­jects gay rights pro­pos­als

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - From Lloyd Gumbo in GENEVA, Switzer­land

ZIM­BABWE has rejected em­brac­ing ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity that some Euro­pean coun­tries wanted the coun­try to take up at the United Na­tions Hu­man Rights Coun­cil Work­ing Group meet­ing, but ac­cepted 142 other rec­om­men­da­tions that are not in con­tra­dic­tion with the na­tional Con­sti­tu­tion.

Spain and Canada are some of the coun­tries that rec­om­mended that Zim­babwe de­crim­i­nalises same sex mar­riage for con­sent­ing adults.

In some poor African coun­tries, the West has gone to the ex­tent of dan­gling aid and bud­getary sup­port in ex­change for em­brac­ing gay rights in their statutes.

But in an in­ter­view with our Harare Bureau shortly after the meet­ing last Fri­day, Vice Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa, said the coun­try had shot down the rec­om­men­da­tion on ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity.

“With re­gards to ar­eas that we felt we would not ac­cept, it is is­sues of gays and ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity, which is un­law­ful in our coun­try,” said VP Mnan­gagwa.

“We rejected all those. There are a few coun­tries from Europe, which rec­om­mended that we re-con­sider our po­si­tion with re­gard adults of same sex mar­ry­ing each other, that we have rejected.”

Per­ma­nent sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of Jus­tice, Le­gal and Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs, Mrs Vir­ginia Mab­hiza added: “We have rejected two broad cat­e­gories of rec­om­men­da­tion that is the one to do with mar­riage be­tween peo­ple of the same sex and an­other one to do with the Rome Statutes. Those are the two that we have out­rightly rejected.”

In his re­marks at the adop­tion of the 142 rec­om­men­da­tions, VP Mnan­gagwa said Zim­babwe was com­mit­ted to pro­mot­ing and pro­tect­ing hu­man rights.

“Re­gard­ing the rec­om­men­da­tions pro­posed by the es­ti­mated mem­ber states to as­sist us im­prove our hu­man rights pro­tec­tion mech­a­nisms and obli­ga­tions, I hereby re-af­firm the po­si­tion enun­ci­ated by the chair-Rap­por­teur of the Troika, His Ex­cel­lency, Ljup­cho Ji­van Gjorgjin­ski, Charge d’af­faires of the Per­ma­nent Mis­sion of Mace­do­nia to the United Na­tions, World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion and other international or­gan­i­sa­tions in Geneva,” said VP Mnan­gagwa.

“In­deed, out of the 260 rec­om­men­da­tions tabled, my del­e­ga­tion has sup­ported 142 and noted 18, while the rest have been de­ferred for fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion.

“I would like to state that the Gov­ern­ment of Zim­babwe will work tire­lessly to scru­ti­nise the de­ferred rec­om­men­da­tions in or­der to come up with a con­crete po­si­tion. We will com­mu­ni­cate our po­si­tion to the coun­cil through the nor­mal diplo­matic chan­nels and in the next ses­sion of the Hu­man Rights Coun­cil.

“Fi­nally, I wish to re­it­er­ate Zim­babwe’s com­mit­ment to up­hold­ing hu­man rights and fun­da­men­tal free­doms of its peo­ple and ful­fill­ing its international hu­man rights obli­ga­tions.”

VP Mnan­gagwa ex­pressed Gov­ern­ment’s grat­i­tude to the United Na­tions hu­man rights ma­chin­ery, the Royal Nor­we­gian Em­bassy in Zim­babwe and other de­vel­op­ment part­ners for help­ing Zim­babwe in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of its hu­man rights obli­ga­tions.

Prof Jonathan Moyo

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