Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has performed a U-turn on gay rights, and now wants to see homosexuality decriminalised in a new constitution currently being drafted.

Only last March, Tsvangirai came out in support of President Robert Mugabe’s hostile stance on gays, charging: “Women make up 52% of the population… There are more women than men, so why should men be proposing to men?”

Homosexual acts are currently illegal in Zimbabwe. Mugabe once said gays were “worse than pigs and dogs”, sparking international condemnation.

But on a visit to London last week, Tsvangirai sat down for an interview with BBC Newsnight, which was due to air on Monday night, in which he withdrew his objections to constitutional recognition of gay rights.

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