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Zimbabwe: Mugabe calls British PM "satanic" over gay rights

Robert Mugabe, known for his regular rants about homosexuality, called David Cameron "satanic" for threatening to withhold British aid to countries that don't respect gay rights.

Mugabe gay rights 11 24 2011Enlarge
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe holds the hand of Anglican spiritual leader Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who arrived in Harare on October 10, 2011 for a two-day visit. (JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has called British Prime Minister David Cameron "satanic" for warning that foreign aid could be cut to countries that do not respect gay rights.

"It becomes worse and satanic when you get a prime minister like Cameron saying countries that want British aid should accept homosexuality," Mugabe said during a speech Wednesday, according to the state-run Herald newspaper.

"To come with that diabolical suggestion to our people is a stupid offer," he said.

Mugabe's rants about homosexuality have for years been a staple of his public speeches. Gays and lesbians have faced political repression under his rule. 

"It is condemned by nature. It is condemned by insects and that is why I have said they are worse than pigs and dogs," Mugabe said in his speech to a mining community in Zimbabwe's Midlands.

More from GlobalPost: Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai supports gay rights

Cameron, at the end of last month's summit of Commonwealth nations, said that those receiving British aid should respect human rights, including gay rights.

Homosexual acts are illegal in most African countries. An exception is South Africa, where gay marriage is legal and sexual orientation is protected in the country's progressive post-apartheid constitution.

Ugandan officials have also lashed out at Cameron's comments, saying that the UK is showing a "bullying mentality."

"Uganda is, if you remember, a sovereign state and we are tired of being given these lectures by people," presidential adviser John Nagenda told the BBC.

According to the BBC, 41 of the 54 Commonwealth nations have laws banning homosexual acts. Many of these anti-gay laws date back to the days of British rule.

More from GlobalPost: Robert Mugabe bashes gays again

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/zimbabwe/111124/mugabe-satanic-david-cameron-zimbabwe-gay-rights-british-aid