Sithembile Mlotshwa has called for inmates in Zimbabwe's prisons to be given 'sex gadgets' to stop them turning gay
A Zimbabwean senator has called for prisoners to be given sex toys to stop them being gay.
Sithembile Mlotshwa, an MDC party senator, made the remark during a parliamentary committee meeting on Gender and Development on Monday (12 March).
'In other countries they provide sex gadgets and rooms where [prisoners] go and service themselves when the desire arises,' she said, reported New Zimbabwe.
However, prison bosses dismissed the proposals as 'ridiculous', when the cash-strapped government barely had enough budget to feed inmates.
Acting Justice and Legal Affairs Secretary, Maxwell Ranga, said: 'If I am struggling to feed and clothe the prisoners, then how can I ask for gadgets? There is therefore need to get rid of some of the rights because it is an incarceration.
'The money we get monthly isn’t enough to feed and clothe the prisoners. Improving the prison conditions will remain a dream if resources are not improved.'
But Mlotshwa insisted prisoners can't live without sex.
She added: 'We can’t say we don’t have money to feed and clothe prisoners because people can stay without food, but they want their sexual desires to be satisfied whether you like it or not.'
Homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe and two members of the same sex caught kissing or even holding hands can face a jail sentence.
Mugabe, a devout Catholic, has repeatedly said he believed same-sex relationships were morally wrong and has criticised MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai for backing gay rights.
Opponents of Mugabe’s homophobic rule threatened to out the closet gays in his party in December.