Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe chose to celebrate his birthday on the weekend by assailing both his critics in the West as well as gays. In a speech at a Mutare stadium, the ageing despot told thousands of people marking his birthday that Western countries were set on taking over Zimbabwe.

“Bear in mind that the monster of imperialism is continuously and dangerously lurking in the bush awaiting a more favourable opportunity to devour our national sovereignty,” he is quoted as saying.

He then laid into homosexuality, perpetuating the notion that being gay is un-African by saying, “Leave whites to do that.” He also told the crowd that same-sex marriage is a threat to society and announced that the government would arrest any clergy that performed same-sex marriage ceremonies in the country.

The 82 year old Mugabe has made his homophobic ideology public before, having labelled gays dogs and ordering anti-gay police action in the past. Mugabe’s last decade in power has seen the country decline dramatically in almost all spheres. Some have openly questioned his mental stability.

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