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Mugabe slams homosexuals

Homosexuality is against Zimbabwean culture, according to President Robert Mugabe.

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe at a campaign rally. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has heightened his anti-gay stance in his rallies ahead of the Zimbabwean elections next week.

Mugabe has now suggested that homosexuals should be castrated.

Commentators say the 89-year-old leader is trying to win over conservative rural voters as he faces strong rival Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) for the third time.

Zimbabwe will go to the polls on Wednesday.

Mugabe once controversially described homosexuals as worse than pigs and dogs and now he has ratchet up the rhetoric, saying that gay men deserve to be castrated.

He was addressing thousands of his supporters at one of his last rallies in Gweru on Friday. His final rally will be held on Sunday.

The state run Chronicle newspaper quotes Mugabe as saying homosexuality is an abomination to the church and in local Zimbabwean culture.

Mugabe said if he had his way gay people would go to hell and rot.

Meanwhile, the United Nations (UN) launched its global Free and Equal Campaign in Cape Town on Friday.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of homophobic violence and discrimination.

The year-long project will be led by Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay. She promised to focus on changing the mindsets of leaders in countries where gay rights are still not recognised.