Saving Zimbabwe with Sex Toys

Occasionally there are stories that are so extraordinarily bizarre that you need to triple check that they’re not on a spoof news website. And ‘sex toys for prisoners in Zimbabwe to stop the spread of homosexuality’ is one such story. It could – should – only be a satirical attack on the homophobic rantings of so many of Zimbabwe’s politicians, church elders and others. But it’s not. It’s a genuine story – although it is in that daily purveyor of hate speech and half-truths, the Herald, so still needs to be taken with a pinch or two of pro ZANU-PF and anti-MDC salt.

Richard Lee's picture

Author

Strategic communications for WWF

March 15th, 2012

Occasionally there are stories that are so extraordinarily bizarre that you need to triple check that they’re not on a spoof news website. And ‘sex toys for prisoners in Zimbabwe to stop the spread of homosexuality’ is one such story. It could – should – only be a satirical attack on the homophobic rantings of so many of Zimbabwe’s politicians, church elders and others. But it’s not. It’s a genuine story – although it is in that daily purveyor of hate speech and half-truths, the Herald, so still needs to be taken with a pinch or two of pro ZANU-PF and anti-MDC salt.

To summarise, an MDC-T senator, Ms Sithembile Mlotshwa, apparently urged the government to provide ‘sex gadgets’ in jails to curb homosexuality, which she claims ‘comes from prisons’. As if that wasn’t ludicrous enough, she claimed that prisoners can go without food and clothing as long as they satisfy their sexual needs. Just think about that for a second – and weep that this is a senior politician in a country that needs all the political sense and expertise it can get.

And then take another second to wonder what sex toys the senator was talking about. Sadly she doesn’t go into detail, relying instead on yet another totally unfounded statement – “In other countries they provide sex gadgets and they have also constructed rooms where people go and service themselves when the desire arises.” Which countries, senator? What gadgets? What rooms?

The senator’s statement is so wrong on so many levels that the MDC-T must surely consider cutting short her political career. Or at the very least making it very clear that the MDC leadership does not subscribe to any of her absurd notions, especially not her discriminatory and derogatory views on homosexuality.

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