A Zimbabwean member of parliament has been released on bail from prison after spending seven days behind bars for calling President Robert Mugabe a homosexual, according to local media.
MP Lynette Karenyi, a member of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), allegedly accused Mugabe of having gay sex with Jonathan Moyo, another MP and former Minister of Information.
She also allegedly said that Canaan Banana, the first president of Zimbabwe and Mugabe’s predecessor, was also gay.
Karenyi, 36, has denied making the comments, and was granted $200 bail, despite opposition from the government.
She was charged with insulting the president, which is a serious criminal offense in Zimbabwe. Compounding the matter is that, as in most of Africa, homosexuality is widely condemned and illegal. Mugabe has himself verbally attacked gays.
Mugabe once infamous said homosexuals were ”worse than pgs and dogs.” He claimed that homosexuality is un-African and was imported from the West.
Recently, he condemned British Prime Minister David Cameron who warned that aid to African countries which persecuted gays might be reduced or cut off.
A spokesman for the MDC said the charges against Karenyi were fabricated by the state.
MDC and Mugabe's Zanu-PF party have jointly run the country since 2008, although their relationship is extremely fragile.