Archive for July 30th, 2012

So many, though reluctant to admit it, shun clever men, and rather suffer fools.  –  Ivan Krylov

Zimbabwe was once a great nation.  From the 13th to the 16th centuries it dominated the region and traded with the Arabs and Portuguese, and its capital (now called “Great Zimbabwe”) was the largest pre-modern structure in Sub-Saharan Africa; the ruins of that city are so impressive that early European archeologists refused to believe it could have been built by black people and instead credited the Phoenicians or Shebans (thus connecting the area’s gold riches with the legend of King Solomon’s Mines).  This kingdom gave way in the early 17th century to a succession of shorter-lived empires due to a combination of factors including wars with neighboring peoples and incursions by the Portuguese and (in the early 19th century) the Zulus; in the 1880s the area was invaded by the British South Africa Company of Cecil Rhodes, for whom the area was named “Rhodesia”.  A series of struggles for independence (some political and some military) throughout the 20th century eventually resulted in the election of a majority-black government under Robert Mugabe, whose increasingly-despotic regime still rules the country 32 years later despite frequent civil unrest, drought, economic crises, epidemics of cholera and HIV and rampant corruption.

All too often, tyrants try to draw attention away from insoluble problems and dramatic failures by persecuting minorities for supposedly encouraging “moral decay” which supposedly creates or at least exacerbates all the visible problems.  We need look no farther than the United States for many excellent examples of this, but Mugabe’s commitment to establishing Zimbabwe as a world leader in the persecution of sexual minorities (especially homosexuals and sex workers) deserves recognition as well; for a country of only 12.5 million people (about 50% larger than New York City) it manages to produce an amazing number of stories about police persecution of whores, many with the sort of bizarre elements which make an article noteworthy.  Mugabe would be right at home as an American politician; when confronted with UN advice that the spread of HIV could be controlled by decriminalizing prostitution and homosexuality, Mugabe swore that would happen “over his dead body”.  Another member of his government suggested that a better solution would be to force women to shave their heads and refrain from bathing, while still another insisted that all men be injected with drugs to reduce their libidos.  And the solution to the “prostitution problem”?

Zimbabwean activists protested…systematic arrests targeting women, often wrongfully accused of loitering, soliciting for prostitution and harboring criminals…Dubbed…”Operation Chipo Get Married”, police in the capital are said to indiscriminately nab any woman they find on the streets alone at night.  Protester Rudo Chigudu, an educated and well-heeled socialite…said even professional women who worked late hours were not being spared the indiscriminate arrests and harassment…Harare police spokesman James Sabau defended the infamous policy saying officers were merely enforcing the law and protecting civilians…

Zimbabweans resemble Americans not merely in their self-destructive puritanism and their love for giving pompous military-sounding names to petty harassment campaigns, but also in their embrace of American “sex trafficking” hysteria and the “gypsy whores” myth:

Government is in a dilemma on what to do with commercial sex workers who are expected to troop into the country for the United Nations World Trade Organisation General Assembly…next year…Tourism and Hospitality Industry permanent secretary, Dr Sylvester Maunganidze…[said] it was inevitable that prostitutes would flock into the country for the assembly…[and that] anyone suspected of being a prostitute would be arrested…”but if you put stiffer penalties, delegates will go back angry…We have a requirement that condoms should be put in hotels and we received criticism from devout Christians…some of them when they get into their hotel rooms and find condoms in their drawers they throw them through the window and then monkeys will have a feast with those condoms”…

But condom-eating monkeys are the least of Zimbabwe’s sex problems; how about man-raping, condom-hoarding harlot witches?

Three sex workers accused of raping 17 men in Zimbabwe have been freed…[they] were arrested last year after…a police…search of their vehicle revealed more than 30 used condoms…men…said the women forced them to have sex while brandishing weapons.  However, DNA evidence…disproved any link between the women and [their accusers]…[there was] widespread speculation that the sex workers were collecting semen for witchcraft.

Nor are the magical powers of Zimbabwean whores limited to forcing erections out of unwilling men:

A Zimbabwe man has told a court that the prostitute he hired turned into a donkey overnight, and now he is “seriously in love.”  Sunday Moyo, 28, was caught having sex with a donkey early Sunday morning, according to the New Zimbabwe news website…Police said they found Moyo having sex with a donkey…Moyo…explained that the donkey was in fact a prostitute he had earlier hired for $20 at a local nightclub.  “I don’t know how she then became a donkey,” Moyo is reported to have told the court.  “I only came to know that I was being intimate with a donkey when I got arrested.”  The experience appears to have been a sexual awakening for Moyo, who now says he is in love with the beast…

Alas, there are no witches, in Zimbabwe or anywhere else, with powers great enough to make human stupidity, ignorance and bigotry vanish.

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