Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. China and Russia have emerged as the key eastern investment allies for Zimbabwe. File picture: Diego Azubel

Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe says Western aid depends on acceptance of homosexuality.

Mugabe, 90, said China allowed the African personality to thrive while the West wanted him to endorse Western culture, including homosexuality.

In an interview on Guangdong TV ahead of his return to Harare on Sunday, Mugabe said the Chinese were “partners... and were very constructive... whereas Europe and America, when they give little funding assistance to countries, they always attach conditions, and that is our objection.”

He said the West wanted African leaders to embrace homosexuality.

Mugabe’s last anti-homosexual rant came ahead of his daughter Bona’s lavish wedding in February: “We don’t accept homosexuality here. God made men and women so they can bear children,” he told guests. Mugabe said recently that Zimbabwe would not allow any gay diplomats into Harare, and regularly calls homosexuals “pigs” and “dogs”.

“China uses aid to promote the African personality,” Mugabe said last week.

He went to China with his wife Grace to try to bail out Zimbabwe’s bankrupt economy but returned home without any cash or even soft loans. But he signed a handful of expensive deals to support ongoing infrastructure repairs and power generation, as well as a pledge for a new coal mine.

China went into Africa with joint ventures while Europe would not share profits, Mugabe told TV viewers. “They think Africa is their God-given territory because once upon a time they oppressed us. They had colonies in Africa. They had shared Africa like a cake, this part belongs to the British, that part to the Belgians and that other part to the French, the Germans. There was that scramble for Africa. Not so with the Chinese.”

At the end of last year, Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party unveiled a five-year economic blueprint to create more than two million new jobs, which will cost about R30 billion of new investment. - Independent Foreign Service

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