The last two weeks, Zimbabweans have been getting all worked out by rumours that the MDC was pushing for "gay rights" to be included in to this new Constitution that is supposed to be written before any new elections. Then Mr Tsvangirai came out and said he supported Mugabe's stance on homosexuality. I'll need to go through the articles again to see if the word "principled" was used.
So, of course, we have seen a plethora of writings-commentaries, letters to the editor etc reminding us that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. (So are oppressing the nation, raping women, prostitution etc, but no one seems to mind these) If any of these writers bothered to actually read the Bible, they would note that Zimbabwean society has sunk so low that it lacks the moral ground on which to stand on and denounce homosexuality. The statistics on child neglect, prostitution, divorce rates, illegitimate children, corruption, substance abuse all paint a picture of a whole nation needing God's personal intervention.
In all this furore, it was forgotten that the "Gay rights" clauses were soundly rejected before the NCA authored constitution was adopted. This I was told by a cousin who was present. There was a huge uproar when someone asked what "sexual orientation" meant. The people were not going to stand for it then, they are not going to stand for it now. We are just not the sort of nation that is going to commit to paper the idea that a man and another man in a relationship is normal or the same as a man and a woman.
While everyone is flapping their lips about this matter, homosexuality continues. It has been part of Zimbabwe from day one, when President Banana liked to help himself to kudya kwevakuru. It is to be noted that there was never any public outrage, although everybody knew that it wasn't just for football that Prof. Banana liked to spend a lot of time with the soccer teams and boys's schools. It is also to be noted Mr Mugabe, who was then Prime Minister, never objected to his President's activities. He certainly knew about them, which was why he transferred all the aides and bodyguards who complained.
It's almost as if popular outrage against homosexuals is cued by Mugabe.
Whether a law is passed or not, there will still be men in Zimbabwe who prefer a stiff cock up their dirt tracks over the national pastimes of small house management, muramu rape, step-daughter incest and all the other practices that make us a well-rounded, warts-and-all nation. Keeping "Gay Rights" out of the constitution is not going to stop the homos. No, Siree.
So, why are we making a big fuss about that? Surely, there must be bigger issues right now?
Try this one for size:
This is Owen Maseko, a Zimbabwean artist who was arrested on Friday together with the director of the Bulawayo National Arts Gallery, Voti Thebe, following the launch of an exhibition the day before. At the time of the arrest, they were not charged, prompting a human rights activist to remark that this was an unprecedented situation where people are arrested first and then charged later.
It has subsequently emerged that when they appear in Court tomorrow, they will be charged with "inciting hatred". This is because the subject of the exhibition is the Gukurahundi.
This arrest follows the confiscation of photographs at an exhibition in Harare and the arrest of the gallery's director. In the case of the Bulawayo National Arts Gallery, it was impossible for the police to seize the pictures as Maseko painted them on to the walls of the gallery. So, the police ordered everyone out.
These are clear cases of repression, and show to anyone that things have not improved. The people are still oppressed, there is no freedom of expression and our artists live in danger from the state.
But what do Zimbabweans get all worked up about? What outrages us enough to say something? Homosexuals, who are still having sex anyway, law or no law! And this is why we are still in this situation, even with the people's choice now a part of Government. Zimbabwe, you can stop it being put on paper as legitimate, but you can't stop a man from poking another man if they both agree to do it. Hell, unless you are actually there and are physically stronger or armed, you can't stop a man from poking another man even if the other man doesn't want to be poked. Same as you can't stop a lot of other sexual practices that do happen in Zimbabwe.
What you can stop is the continuing tyranny of Mugabe and this cosy arrangement they call the GPA. What you can stop is the police telling us what we can express ourselves about and what we can't. There were homos in 1980, and there will be homos in 2080, but should there be Mugabe still giving this nation a hard time?
Will you have the guts to rise up, or is it we only become bold advocates when it comes to a small group of people who could leave plenty of luggage room if we got them on a plane to where what they do is considered normal?