JOHANNESBURG — A Zimbabwean senator has called for prison inmates to be provided with sex gadgets for "when the desire arises," to prevent them from "spreading" homosexuality.
Sithembile Mlotshwa, a senator from Matobo, Zimbabwe, told a parliamentary committee Monday that prisoners can go without food and clothing as long as they satisfy their sexual needs, the state-run Herald newspaper reported.
In Zimbabwe, prison conditions are notoriously terrible, and many prisoners never make it out alive. A 2009 documentary aired on South African television showed emaciated prisoners living in "death camp"-like conditions.
According to the Herald, Mlotshwa "urged the government to forgo clothes and food and provide 'sex gadgets' in prisons to curb homosexuality."
“Considering that some of the same-sex orientation (homosexuality) come from prisons and when those people are out they then spread that orientation, what measures are you putting in place to make sure that vice is stopped?” she asked the Committee on Gender and Development.
“In other countries they provide sex gadgets and they have also constructed rooms where people go and service themselves when the desire arises,” she said.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is notoriously anti-gay. His rants about homosexuality have for years been a staple of his public speeches, and gays and lesbians have faced serious political repression under his rule.