Three out of four Zimbabweans are living in poverty, they are hungry, with many orphans struggling to survive after their parents killed due to AIDS.
But President Robert Mugabe has said he doesn’t care if he has to turn down aid if that means his country has to accept gay rights.
At his 92nd birthday on Saturday, which cost nearly $1 million, he gave a speech to oppose LGBTI equality.
‘If aid, as I understand, is to be given on the basis that we accept the principle of gay marriages, then let that aid stay where it is,’ he said in his speech.
‘We don’t want it. It is rotten aid, filthy aid and we won’t hace anything to do with it.’
Zimbabwe has requested $1.6 billion of support. No aid organization has demanded the country pass same-sex marriage.
The president, who has ruled since 1980, has previously described gay people as ‘worse than dogs’ and has threatened to have LGBTI people’s heads chopped off.