A Zimbabwean self-proclaimed ‘prophet’ has spoken out in support of President Mugabe and his wishes to imprison gays for life.
United Family International Church founder Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa commended the president for ‘principled’ while facing EU economic sanctions that he believes was imposed over the country’s persecution of LGBTI people.
Mugabe has previously said gay people are ‘worse than pigs, dogs and birds’ and has also threatened to behead them.
Speaking to a congregation of thousands, Makandiwa said: ‘To those countries homosexuality is a right that they have claimed our president is abusing.
‘But is it really about rights because an innocent person out there is being made to suffer (because of sanctions)?’
Recently, the EU has lifted a 12-year suspension of direct financial aid to the government of Zimbabwe, imposed after allegations of rights abuses by Mugabe’s administration.
They have planned a â‚¬234 million ($300 million) five-year funding program to support health, agriculture and governance initiatives.
The ‘prophet’ has said the president’s position on the LGBTI community is one of the reasons the country ‘culture’ has remained stable and the economy is improving.
‘We are where we are now because our leaders have been able to safeguard our culture and values,’ Makandiwa said.
‘A president who upholds the values of a nation is important. We cannot sacrifice our values because of a loan.’
However, other than sanctions by the EU, the United States does not maintain sanctions against the country of Zimbabwe, and only target individuals who have abused human rights or are involved in the corruption of the government.
The EU also remained a major donor to Zimbabwe since 2002 by channeling funds of â‚¬1.5 billion Euros ($2 billion) through non-governmental organizations.