Robert Mugabe, the current President Of Zimbabwe who had been in power since Dec. 1987, deviated from his prepared speech released ahead of the UN General Assembly. In a scathing jabbed at U.S. president Barack Obama, Mr. Mugabe shouted “We are not gays” in the middle of his speech.
In his speech on Monday at the UNGA, Mr. Mugabe took a jab at Mr. Obama, saying that while respecting and upholding human rights is the obligation of all states, “nowhere does the charter abrogate the right to some to sit in judgment over others, in carrying out this universal obligation.”
“In that regard, we reject the politicization of this important issue and the application of double standards to victimize those who dare think and act independently of the self-anointed prefects of our time,” Mugabe said. “We equally reject attempts to prescribe ‘new rights’ that are contrary to our values, norms, traditions, and beliefs. We are not gays! Cooperation and respect for each other will advance the cause of human rights worldwide. Confrontation, vilification, and double-standards will not,” Mugabe went on saying.
The rift between two leaders has deep roots. But the two was again pitted against each other since President Obama had been vocal promoting LGBT rights in Africa. During the president’s visit in Kenya in July, he openly called Africa to respect the rights of gays and lesbians; to treat people equally under the law because they are deserving of equal protection under the law; and that the state should not discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation.
“And I say that, recognizing that there may be people who have different religious or cultural beliefs. But the issue is how does the state operate relative to people,” Mr. Obama said at the time. “I’m equivocal on this. The idea that they (gays and lesbians) are going to be treated differently or abused because of who they love is wrong,” the president stressed.