Tsvangirai, who appeared to be playing into Zanu PF’s hands when he told the BBC last week that gay rights were also a “human right,” was eventually forced to address the thorny issue at a rally in Binga.
Villagers in Lupane and Tsholotsho carried placards with messages such as, “No to homosexuals.”
Speaking at a rally at Pashu Secondary School in Binga South, Tsvangirai said he did not understand why people were making such a fuss about his views on gays. “I am not gay, but I will not persecute someone who wishes to make his or her own choice about their sexual orientation, it is their own business,” he said.
But he admitted that homosexuality was a “very controversial subject” in Zimbabwe. “Surely we cannot spend time talking about gays and lesbians. Do you think that I have time to be responding to what I meant or did not mean when I made reference to the issue of gays? There are more serious issues to talk about, such as how to take care of the well-being of the people,” Tsvangirai told the rally.