OPINION – Firstly I would like to thank Norway for awarding the Freedom of Expression award to Nina Karin Monsen. Nina Karin Monsen was awarded the FOE award for her “reflective and independent contribution to a freer public debate.”
The jury of the Freedom of Expression award declared, “She is an example of the costs of participating in public debate with independent opinions in a society that is characterized by self-censorship and anxiety about voicing strong opinions about sensitive issues”.
Even though her achievement was met with outrage of course, personally I am convinced she deserves the award and many more for standing up for what she thinks is right no matter what others think. Gays and lesbians should be made to understand that they are not the only ones who have the right to express their views but everyone else has. They should also be made to understand that not everyone is willing to associate with them and get pride in the fact that people are different.
Being an advocate for freedom of expression myself, through this article I am going to express my self freely in respect to Article 19 which says,
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. This right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.
Do not scratch my name from the list of freedom of expression campaigners for Article 19 celebrates everyone’s right to express themselves freely. Everyone has their own understanding of human life and human beings and my understanding of human beings could be different from someone else’s understanding of the same. I come from a society of citizens who are generally of rich values but very silent when it comes to speaking out their minds. Many Zimbabweans I guess are not prepared to take in the verbal abuses that come with voicing one’s mind, so many of them resort to using pseudonyms when it comes to voicing sensitive concerns and airing views about important issues that help to build democratic societies .
Before I go further I would like to make it clear to all gays and lesbians that I don’t hate you but I just don’t agree with your views. It is not a crime to disagree. I have realised that many gays and lesbians think that everyone who speaks against their views hates them. NO that is completely wrong and irresponsible. There is a difference between disagreeing and hating .Some of the gays and lesbians are very intolerant and resort to verbal abuse whenever someone disagrees with their views. In the end many people discuss this issue behind closed doors for fear of victimisation. People should stop labeling those sharing their views on gays and lesbians as haters who use hate speech to undermine the freedom of gays and lesbians. What hate speech? Are people not allowed to express their opinions? It is wrong for gays and lesbians to terrorise those who don’t agree with their views. I will stand for what I think is right for humankind.
It was reported that the constitution-making process in Zimbabwe “ground to a halt because of disagreements, infighting and a lack of funds. Munyaradzi Mangwana, co-chairperson of the parliamentary select committee, which is spearheading the process, told reporters that the constitution may not be completed until 2013.”
Whenever they are ready I would like to point out that, our constitution should respect gays and lesbians’ right to be heard but deny them the opportunity to practice what they believe in .It is not good for our society and Zimbabwe should not allow them to practice what they preach just because some countries are allowing theirs to do so. Black and white is different .We have our own precious values to respect and maintain as a proud society of well mannered and responsible citizens no matter what it takes. Some people say we are a conservative society. They choose to give conservative a derogatory definition to mean we are backward and not willing to embrace change. Not every change is worth it. Societies can’t destroy themselves for the sake of destructive change.
Of course every human being should be given the right to freely express their views and opinions but not all human beings should be given the privilege to practice what they preach. Not all rights are human and not all human rights are right. Some rights are inhuman rights .There should be limits to how far human beings can go. The constitution should however recognize all human beings as people and should allow everyone to share their views without fear of victimisation .It is very possible to allow people to express their opinions and deny them the privilege to practice what they believe in .Freedom of expression is the cornerstone to democratic societies and allowing citizens to share their views is healthy for any society. The freedom to practice what gays and lesbians preach is what should be denied since their practices threaten human existence.As Zimbabwean gays and lesbians are also campaigning for their rights to be recognized in the constitution it is important that government recognizes their existence buy giving them the opportunity to come out in the open and speak their minds. Oppressing their voices is voice slavery which is not good for democracy .They should not be held in slavery or servitude but should be allowed to feel free to share their views. Only sharing their views.
Not all human rights are rights. Some human rights are wrongs and remain privileges. Freedom of expression is considerate enough because if respected it allows gays and lesbians to express their thoughts and ideas just like any other citizens.The constitution should tolerate them and give them equal respect and protection against any discrimination in as far as speaking out their minds is concerned. There is a difference between speaking and doing. Democratic societies are built by giving citizens the right to speak out. Voice tolerance is the foundation. It doesn’t mean that by listening to someone’s voices you have to do or agree to what they are asking for. If what the people are asking for is not proper then their demands should not be met. Listening to different voices from all angles is very important as it helps society to respect other people’s thoughts.
I know that some people who share my views will say once gays and lesbians’ voices are respected they will succeed in doing what they are saying. I don’t agree. The constitution should keep in place laws that make it a criminal offence to engage in gay and lesbian relationships. They should only be subjected to punishment if they engage in love relationships whilst the constitution maintains the right to human dignity.
I repeat. The laws should allow them to speak out only .That way the constitution would have given them the right to express their opinions and deny them the freedom to practice which is fair enough. They can’t be denied even the right to only speak their minds and share their views. If they want to practise what they preach then they are free to go to countries that allow such kind of relationships. They can be love refugees in those countries without breaking the law. Article 13 allows them to relocate.
As proud Zimbabweans we should strive to fight for the right to the protection of the moral fibre that makes human beings different from animals. The wisdom to know the difference .We should strive to preserve mankind. Let those who have chosen to destroy their societies in the name of misunderstanding freedom and abuse of democracy do it. Zimbabwe is economically poor and politically dirty yes but that doesn’t mean we should be swayed by the immoral behaviours of rich nations. We need to choose between what is right and wrong and stand up for practices that continue to make us a unique society of people with a culture that is rich in moral values. We can’t be poor in everything. Some rich nations today are taking advantage of poor African nations to spread immorality and label their weird behaviours human rights whilst encouraging us to fight for inhuman rights in the name of democracy. Democracy does not mean losing our values as human beings. Democracy does not mean copying the immoral culture or behaviours of other cultures. Democracy does not mean abusing our freedoms. Yes in democratic societies we look forward to have the right to have our own beliefs, and to say and write what we think but that doesn’t mean we should have the right to destroy ourselves. The government that we put in place should protect our existence in accordance with the laws of human nature.
The constitution should also indicate that gays and lesbians are not all that special .Many of them think they deserve special treatment and that everyone should feel for them and the like. There’s nothing special about being gay and being lesbian. If they claim to be human like everybody else then they should be subjected to the laws of the constitution that everyone else is subjected to.
However, gay rights campaigners in Zimbabwe should continue pushing for their right to express their thoughts. A society that allows its citizens to share their views prospers. By allowing citizens to speak out their minds the government will be opening doors to different new ideas that can help shape the future of the country in a positive way. The government doesn’t lose anything by allowing people to share their views. The resistance should be on practising of immoral behaviours and not on the speaking part. Words don’t always change things.
“Gay men and lesbians in Zimbabwe are hoping for an end to years of "hysterical homophobia" by having their rights enshrined in the new constitution. Sexual acts between men are outlawed in the socially conservative country (there is no legal reference to women) and the president, Robert Mugabe, has encouraged a climate of hostility by condemning homosexuality, describing it as a western import. " said an article in the UK guardian.
Bad as he is at least Mugabe knows the difference between a man and a woman. However by condemning homosexuality you don’t always encourage a climate of hostility depending on how you say it. The problem is that many gays and lesbians force society to accept them .You can’t have everyone admire you. I have a lot of enemies too but I am not a lesbian. It is normal to be hated by some people. Even God has enemies. You can’t be loved by everyone in a society of different people with different views. So gays and lesbians should learn to live with the hatred. I’m not saying hating someone is right but at times we can’t stop it so we have to live with it.
It has also been reported in the same paper that “Mugabe’s opponents in the Movement for Democratic Change are more supportive of gay rights, raising hopes that Zimbabwe’s constitution could follow that of South Africa, the first in the world to specifically outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual preference.”
Something tells me that these MDC people are supporting gay rights only to oppose Mugabe. You can’t choose to destroy your society by supporting awkward behaviours only because you hate Mugabe. These are the kind of leaders Zimbabwe is hosting. Leaders who are just becoming leaders for the sake of power. Some so called politicians will accept anything so as to gain support and remain in power. This is one reason why some people will never take politicians seriously. Some governments worldwide are also tolerating weird rights so that they remain in power. Let us be mindful of such characters who publicly pretend to be in support of certain behaviours whilst on the dinner table they teach their children not to do the same.
Is bestiality a human right? Recently in Zimbabwe a goat gave birth to a human like creature. No matter what science says, the product that was born out of this goat mostly like is a product of a human being and a goat. A man raped a goat and produced a pergoat (a product of a person and a goat).I am saying raped because there’s no way the goat could have agreed to have sex with the man. Many men are raping animals around the world and sooner or later if society doesn’t protect itself from inhuman behaviours we are going to drown into a deranged society of inhuman beings who have no respect for humanity. If such behaviours are allowed to flourish we are going to see a society where human beings will soon fight for rights to rape animals.Their argument will be based on article 18 which says,
“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”
Is it right to rape an animal? You need to be insane to defend such kind of inhuman behaviour. Zimbabwe’s constitution should avoid a situation whereby its citizens are given the right to engage in any activity or to perform any sexual act that is inhuman .People can’t sit back and watch society destroy itself for the sake of freedom and bad human rights. It’s better to be denied the donations if it means destroying the human race.
The freedom to change one’s belief ? So according to article 18 if I have understood it right ,a man has the right to change into a woman and a woman has the right to change into a man. Remember not all rights are right. Imagine waking up in the morning and your mother telling you that he is now a man and you have to live with it. Two fathers in the house and vice versa. I call it child abuse.
Some questions before I sign off. Does a human being have the right to have sex with an animal if he believes it is right? Why is bestiality a crime then? Allow those who rape animals to do it if you think all human rights are right. Lesson is, some human rights are wrong and are destructive to society. If you don’t stand up against practices that destroy your well being and the existence of future generations you will only have your ghost to blame when you turn in your grave only to see that everyone is now a man or everyone is now a woman, no children anymore, You wouldn’t want to see God crying .You know what it means. Do not chew your tongues. You have the right to speak your mind. If your mother or father was gay or lesbian you would not have been born so why deny others the right to be born and enjoy life.
So what about an organization that will guard against the extinction of mankind in Zimbabwe? An organisation that will fight for human conservation and preserve human beings by advocating for principles that don’t threaten our existence. Zimbabwe Human Conservation Society (ZIHUCOSO).You can’t fight for the conservation of gumtrees or elephants without fighting for your own conservation .When the time comes they will come to Zimbabwe to see what a child looks like. Forget about South Africa. You don’t learn anything logical from a man who showers HIV.
The article was written by Viomak .She is a Zimbabwean protest singer, political activist and freedom of expression campaigner and can be contacted through her website.