Thandeka Moyo Chronicle Reporter
ZIMBABWE will never legalise prostitution and homosexuality, a Member of Parliament has said. Speaking during a two-day National Aids Council (NAC) workshop for journalists in Kadoma, Cde Kindness Paradza (Zanu-PF, Makonde), said the very notion of legalising prostitution was nonsensical. “It’s true that sex workers and men who have sex with men have been identified as key populations to be targeted in HIV and Aids programmes. However, as a country, we will cater for their health needs as we do to every other individual. However, there is no way we are going to legalise their practice in the name of eradicating the pandemic in our communities,” said Cde Paradza.
He said the country would not succumb to pressure from other nations who legalise prostitution and homosexuality as the practices have never been part of Zimbabwean culture.
“We can watch, talk and write about legalising that but though that Bill may be brought to Parliament, I assure you we’ll never accept homosexuality and prostitution in Zimbabwe, not in this lifetime,” he said.
NAC board member Catherine Murombedzi urged Zimbabweans to call the police on churches or individuals who claim to prophesy and encourage HIV-positive people to stop taking their medication.
“There’s no cure for HIV and Aids and I encourage people to stop listening to advice from clergymen or prophets who encourage them to stop medication as they would have been healed. This is a serious matter and it will take families to unite and report such prophets and even engage lawyers to stop all these misconceptions around HIV,” said Murombedzi.
Sexuality, HIV and prostitution have always been contentious subjects in the country.
President Mugabe often describes gay people as worse than pigs and dogs.
MDC-T Bulawayo East MP Thabitha Khumalo is known for championing the cause to legalise the world’s oldest profession.
In 2011 she led a campaign to include the rights of “pleasure engineers” in the country’s constitution.
Khumalo was quoted saying: “It (prostitution) is here to stay and we need to bite the bullet. Pleasure engineering did not begin in Bulawayo or Zimbabwe. It all began in the Garden of Eden and one of those pleasure engineers was Eve.
“Who in their right mind will deny it? We will have to embrace it, whether we like it or not.”
She allegedly threatened to expose colleagues using the services of prostitutes if her campaign was not supported in Parliament.
MDC-T Matobo senator Sithembile Mlotshwa once stirred controversy when she suggested that people should have sex once a month and that men must be injected with drugs that reduce their libido, to curb the spread of HIV.
She also called for prisoners to be given sex toys to quench their sexual appetites.