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Mugabe said he means it-gays are worse than dogs and pigs

President Robert Mugabe, who had been under intense attack for his remarks that gays were worse than dogs and pigs, reiterated the same sentiments six years later saying: “When I say gays are worse than dogs and pigs, I really mean it because pigs don’t do unnatural things.”

“Let not our Parliament ever entertain that the unnatural must be made natural. …I cannot appreciate that a whole Parliament can decide that Robert Mugabe and Joseph Msika can get married. I certainly appreciate that which is natural. I don’t think the mission of human beings is to do unnatural things.”

Mugabe’s remarks were contained in a cable that was dispatched on 30 July 2002 in which he also said his government would defy court judgments that were not objective.


Full cable:



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Reference ID






2002-07-30 10:42

2011-08-30 01:44


Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 001745









E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/30/2012






Classified By: Political Officer A. Besmer for reasons 1.5(b), (d)


1. (C) Summary: On July 25, President Mugabe went on record

saying that the State would defy court judgments with which

it did not agree. He also said gays were worse than pigs and

dogs, warning Parliament against recognizing homosexual

marriages. In a previous July 23 speech at the opening of

Parliament Mugabe had two major themes–devaluation is dead,

and land reform is the key to growth. He proposed various

spending programs in the agriculture, legal and health

sectors, but perhaps most troubling, the creation of a

centralized Financial Services Authority which would tighten

his grip on the banking sector. In an address to the

Zimbabwe Nurses Association on July 27, he lambasted Britain

for stealing Zimbabwe’s health workers. Mugabe’s remarks

promise an intensification of economic central planning and

its destructive consequences, as Britain continues to bear

the rhetorical blame for all of Zimbabwe’s woes. End Summary


2. (U) Alluding to Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa’s

recent conviction on contempt of court charges, President

Mugabe said in a July 25 speech at a reception he hosted for

the opening of Parliament, “if they (judges) are not

objective, don’t blame us when we defy them.” In the same

address, Mugabe said that, “we will respect judges where the

judgments are true judgments,” and “when a judge sits alone

in his house or with his wife and says ‘this one is guilty of

contempt’ that judgment should never be obeyed.” The

President went on to say that, “They (judges) are ordinary

people, mortals with ordinary flesh who get drunk if they

drink at all. So we expect them to be objective.”


3. (U) Then he launched into a typical diatribe against

homosexuality, apparently using the opportunity to refute

indirectly recent rumors about the sexual orientation of one

of his cabinet members. “When I say gays are worse than dogs

and pigs, I really meant it because pigs don’t do unnatural

things. Let not our Parliament ever entertain that the

unnatural must be made natural. …I cannot appreciate that a

whole Parliament can decide that Robert Mugabe and Joseph

Msika can get married. I certainly appreciate that which is

natural. I don’t think the mission of human beings is to do

unnatural things.”


4. (U) In his earlier July 23 speech at the opening ceremony

of Parliament, Mugabe blamed British “machinations” and the

drought for Zimbabwe’s economic woes. He also criticized the

banking sector for instability and hindering growth: “The

much-anticipated agrarian-led economic revival cannot take

place for as long as our financial sector continues to be

completely unstable. Our banking institutions have to be

shaken into realizing the harm they are doing to the economy

through rampant indiscipline. The parallel market of our

financial, or is it money market has to be brought under

immediate control. …a run-away exchange rate cannot be the

way to the recovery of our economy. …We accordingly need to

cause greater production of exportables, especially our major

earners of foreign currency… …through various export

promotion schemes, including incentives. …Devaluation is

thus dead!”


5. (U) At the Parliamentary ceremony, Mugabe said Zimbabwe

would accept humanitarian aid, but he criticized

international “sinister interests” for exacerbating

Zimbabwe’s vulnerability, and threatening its sovereignty

under cover of humanitarian involvement. Linking food

security to land reform, he said, “as part of our effort to

find a lasting solution to food security, the implementation

of the Agrarian Reform Programme has been our highest



6. (U) In his July 23 remarks, Mugabe expressed delight that

a Value Added Tax (VAT) bill had been introduced in

Parliament, noting that the VAT would enable tax collection

at each stage of production. Correspondingly, he advanced

various proposals to spend VAT revenue including an earmarked

ZWD$8.5 billion (USD$12 million) for “tillage, crop and

livestock input support to our newly resettled farmers for

the next agricultural season.” He suggested unspecified

spending for “Soldiers Engaged in Economic Development”

(SEED) to clear landmines from land to be used for

settlement, unspecified spending to build border posts at

three locations in the northwest and east frontiers of the

country, unspecified spending for a legal aid scheme,

unspecified spending for satellite schools utilizing existing

farm homesteads, sheds and barns for children of “new

farmers”, and unspecified spending for HIV/Aids prevention,

counseling and testing.


7. (U) Mugabe proposed to centralize under a Financial

Services Authority the existing Commissioner of Insurance,

Registrar of Banking Institutions, Registrar of Building

Societies, Registrar of Stock Exchange, Registrar of

Collective Investment Schemes, and Registrar of Pension and

Provident Funds. In addition he proposed to amend the

education act to appoint civil servants to head every school

whether public, religious, or private, a proposal which

subsequently elicited significant criticism.


8. (U) At the Zimbabwe Nurses’ Association’s 19th Annual

General Meeting in Chinoyi on July 27 Mugabe castigated

Britain for “coming at the dead of night to steal our people

(pharmacists, doctors and nurses),” even though “We have

created an environment that allows that upliftment of nurses.”





9. (C) Mugabe’s comments confirm that he has no intention of

veering from his current destructive path. It is clear that

sound economic policy-making will continue to be sacrificed

on the altar of politics, so long as Mugabe remains at the

helm. We will watch closely whether establishment of the

proposed Financial Services Authority nudges Zimbabwe ever

closer to a command economy. Mugabe’s public comments were

noteworthy as well for his refusal to take any responsibility

for this country’s political and economic crises, preferring

instead to blame his favorite whipping boy, Britain.


10. (C) Mugabe’s remarks on the Judiciary on July 23 were the

first time he has explicitly vowed to ignore court rulings he

does not deem impartial or objective, although he has done so

de facto for the past three years. His speech was

nonetheless the most compelling example to date of the GOZ’s

contempt for basic rule of law. We would suggest quoting

Mugabe’s precise words as presidential affirmation that the

Mugabe Government will no longer accept the rule of law. End




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