Alexander alerted me to this story on the Huffington Post's website yesterday. It's no secret that homosexual men and women in Zimbabwe are often victims of public harassment and persecution, members of the public are being encouraged to report on homosexuals they know and obviously it doesn't just stop at that. Homophobes, religious zealots, extremists and the like often feel they have the divine right to hand out their own forms of justice on those they do not agree with, just look at what happened in the US with the passing of the new health bill recently.
Now corrective rape is nothing new in the world and most certainly not in Africa. It is very common in South Africa for lesbians especially in black communities to become victims of this form of 'social justice'. And nobody gets spared, last year a member of the South African female soccer team, Eudy Simelane, was repeatedly gang raped, beaten and stabbed. Her dead body was found in a creek in a park outside of Johannesburg. She was openly lesbian and a campaigner for equal rights.
According to the article in the HuffPo the situation in Zimbabwe is getting worse and it affects all homosexuals. Gay men are forced into having sex with women and lesbian women are raped by men, families of the victims are often involved in this corrective process. Homosexual family members also get forced into marriage with people of the opposite sex in an effort to 'heterosexualize' them.
The government is not helping the situation with politicians still speaking out against homosexuals and President Mugabe have recently re-iterated that there will be no provisions made for the rights of homosexuals in the new constitution. According to the article the prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai has also stated that he 'shares and abhorrance' of homosexuals, although he has also asked for tolerance towards minorities.
Nice try Morgan, sad to think I supported you politically, naively believing you would take the rights and interest of all Zimbabweans to heart. Abhor and tolerate sadly do not go together.
It is sad to think that there are so many people still facing horrible injustices at the hands of their fellow country men with a government that either turns a blind eye or encourages this kind of behavior.