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Mugabe issues warning to pro-gay diplomats

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has threatened to throw out any foreign diplomats who support gay rights.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has threatened to throw out any foreign diplomats who support gay rights. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - President Robert Mugabe has threatened to throw out any foreign diplomats who call for the Zimbabwe to respect gay rights.

Mugabe's comments come hot on the heels of other African countries who have also banned and made gay rights illegal.

In February, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni followed majority of other African countries by signing the anti-gay law which punishes first-time offenders with 14 years in jail and allows life imprisonment as the penalty for acts of "aggravated homosexuality".

Nigeria in January banned same-sex marriage while homosexual acts already carry the death sentence under Islamic law, which applies along with federal law in the north of the country.

The 90-year-old president was speaking at Independence Day celebrations in Harare's main sports stadium.

He said, "Europe must keep what he calls its homosexual nonsense."

Mugabe told crowds gathered to celebrate Zimbabwe's 34th anniversary of independence that freedom fighters did not fight for Zimbabwe to become a homosexual territory.

Mugabe, who turned 90 two months ago and has previously called homosexuals worse than pigs and dogs, said he wanted to be informed if any foreign diplomats tried to advocate for gay rights inside Zimbabwe.

In a blistering attack on what he called dishonest Europe, Mugabe said Zimbabwe would kick out pro-gay diplomats without offering any excuse.

Activists have been calling for the South African government to intervene by speaking to other African countries about their anti-gay laws.

But, President Jacob Zuma said South Africa as a country had no right to interfere in any legislature or policy brought into law by other countries.