CNN’ s Interview with Zimbabwean president Highlights the worldview differences between Africa and Western countries

This CNN interview with the Zimbabwean president Emerson Mnangagwa Is right up there with Cathy Newman V Jordan Peterson Interview. The conversation was done during the recent economic forum in Davos Switzerland.

The worldview difference is glaringly apparent in the interview, putting aside your views on the content of the video. This interview was supposed to be on Zimbabwe’s economy, and how the current president will repair the country. Instead, they spent most of the time talking about LGBT rights, which are important. Because no one should be subjected to discrimination because of there sexual orientation, race or gender.

Below is the interview


The CNN interviewer says “you keep Zimbabwe in the past.”

Australia, New-Zealand, Uk and other western countries changed laws to include homosexuals because the culture was already moving that way and the laws were in many respects just catching up to that.  Even then look at how long it for them to change the laws, for example, despite having a secular constitution that guarantees rights to minorities. Australia only legalised SSM last year, Africa has a long way to go before it can start giving rights to LGBT, later on, marriage.

Africa has many issues, for example, inadequate health care system, no infrastructure development and poverty. In some parts of Africa people just won’t get through the day without being killed. On the mind of most African is, we have way more pressing issues than this.

For Human rights to exists, there has to be stronger institution put in place to uphold and prevent human rights abuse. So even if Zimbabwe legalised gay marriage, there is no guarantee that it will have any effect on the broader culture or succeed in preventing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Most countries in Africa are true democracies, In true pure democracies, the majority rule. A true democracy tends not to protect the rights of minorities. And they also tend to succumb to the tyranny of the majority.

LGBT issues are cultural issues, that is why changing the laws to accommodate LBGT right will not work in many parts of Africa unless the culture changes. For example, despite Zambia being a Christian nation, it has some of the most liberal laws when it comes to abortion and reproductive rights. But despite the liberal reproductive laws, back-alley abortions are very high and account for the majority of gynaecological visits. This is because cultural perceptions towards abortions have not changed. As conservatives will say ” it is the culture that determines what happens in politics.”

Everyone should be able to live free from discrimination and should not be judged based on the religion, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. So if we want LBGT rights, we need to first change the cultural perception of Africans toward homosexuals, at least to the point where they are not persecuted.

But looking at the current political climate in most African countries, it is hard to see that happening anytime soon.