Mugabe prefers Chinese aid with no gay strings attached

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe says he greatly prefers Chinese aid over that from Western nations because the latter want him to accept homosexuality.

Mr Mugabe, said to be a practising Catholic, told a Chinese television interviewer that he resents Western aid because it always depends on conditions like accepting homosexuality.

He praised Beijing for being “very constructive” in its assistance towards Zimbabwe, the Telegraph reported.

“Whereas Europe and America, when they give little funding assistance to countries they always attach conditions,” he said. “And that is our objection.”

Earlier this year, at his daughter’s wedding, the Jesuit-educated Mr Mugabe reportedly told guests: “We don’t accept homosexuality here. God made men and women so they can bear children.”

Mr Mugabe also recently said that Zimbabwe would not allow any gay diplomats into Harare, and regularly refers to gay people as “pigs” and “dogs”.

The Zimbabwean leader went to China to try and bail out his country’s bankrupt economy.

He returned home without any cash or even soft loans, but signed a handful of expensive deals to support ongoing infrastructural repairs and power generation as well as a pledge for a new coal mine.

During his TV interview, Mr Mugabe told viewers that China went into African projects using joint ventures whereas European businesses would not share their profits and had colonial attitudes.

At the end of last year, Mr Mugabe’s Zanu PF party unveiled a five year economic blueprint to create more than two million new jobs with investments of up to NZ$30 billion.

Economists say the latest deals with Beijing would be very expensive, as Chinese insurers rate Zimbabwe as extremely high risk.

Late last year, Zimbabwe’s Catholic bishops issued a pastoral letter calling for their country to engage more with the international community and lamenting how polarised it is.

Despite being blessed with abundant natural resources and highly skilled people, there were no signs of improvements in Zimbabwean life that could improve people’s prospects, they said.

Zimbabwe was once one of the most prosperous of African nations, but it is now one of the poorest, with policies said to redistribute land and natural resources leaving them in the hands of a ruling party elite.


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