Zimbabwe Senator Wants ‘Sex Gadgets’ for Prisoners


A Zimbabwe senator has reportedly suggested that prisoners can go without food and clothes but the pressing issue of their sexual desires must be met, saying that other countries have given prisoners ‘sex gadgets’ and that this should help stop the spread of homosexuality once prisoners are released.

This idea came from Matobo Senator Sithembile Mlotshwa (MDC-T) during a parliamentary committee meeting on Gender and Development on Monday, March 12.

From izimbabwe:

Mutoko Senator Jacob Edmond (Zanu-PF) was the acting chairperson of the committee.

“Considering that some of the same-sex orientation (homosexuality) come from prisons and when those people are out they then spread that orientation, what measures are you putting in place to make sure that vice is stopped?”

Mlotshwa asked Acting Secretary for Justice and Legal Affairs Mr Maxwell Ranga.

“In other countries they provide sex gadgets and they have also constructed rooms where people go and service themselves when the desire arises.”

On whether Zimbabwe could create something of this nature, Mr Ranga is reported to have replied that, given the struggle just to feed and clothe prisoners, providing them with “sex gadgets” was beyond the scope of their current resources. Ranga went on to say that he had even been unable to secure $20,000 in treasury funds to deal with a lice and bed-bug infestation in the country’s prisons.

Senator Mlotshwa is said to have responded:

“We can’t say we don’t have money to feed and clothe prisoners because people can stay without food, but they want their sexual desires to be satisfied whether you like it or not.

“We can’t ignore and say we don’t have money so we won’t provide those gadgets. As the ministry, are you crying out loud so that the issues can be addressed?”

Zimbabwe officials have been forced to give serious consideration on how to combat prisoners having sex because the country’s senior officials have made it explicitly clear that they will not allow prisoners to access condoms.

The country’s prisons have also come under scrutiny for numerous reported instances of human rights abuses. Malnutrition is a considerable problem, and violence that stems from these poor conditions has been well documented.

Zimbabwe criminalizes homosexuality under colonial laws banning “unlawful and intentional sexual relations per anum between two human males” as well as under provisions covering “unnatural offences” in addition to a “sexual deviancy” law.

The Mugabe administration has been outspoken in its dislike of LGBTs, with Robert Mugabe now infamously quoted as saying:

“It degrades human dignity. It’s unnatural, and there is no question ever of allowing these people to behave worse than dogs and pigs. If dogs and pigs do not do it, why must human beings? … What we are being persuaded to accept is sub-animal behavior and we will never allow it here. If you see people parading themselves as Lesbians and Gays, arrest them and hand them over to the police!”

Senator Sithembile Mlotshwa also stirred controversy last July when she proposed that in order to curb the spread of HIV, men in the country should be administered with a drug to limit their sex drive to one day a month.

Related Reading:

Zimbabwe: 5 Men Arrested for Being Gay

Zimbabwe HIV Consultant: Decriminalize Gays, Prostitutes

“The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe” by Peter Godwin (REVIEW)


Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Thomas Sly.


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

wow. prison does not make people gay. just wow

LD B5 years ago

Seems to be more than a few here who fail to understand that 1) the purpose of prison is to deprive one of freedom of movement about the world, not to inflict suffering; and 2) most of those imprisoned are going to one day be released, such that those on the outside will have to deal with any undue consequences of their having been imprisoned.

Ginger Strivelli
Ginger Strivelli5 years ago

Bars, a roof, a bedroll, a blanket, striped jumpsuit and 3 brown bag meals a day is all they need...then people would try harder to stay out of prison.

SeattleAnn S.
Ann S5 years ago

Aside from the silliness of wanting to "prevent the spread of homosexuality," it is worth finding some ways to abolish prison rape.

Samantha S.
Samantha Shira5 years ago

wow. prision is for punishment, not pleasure. let them suffer.

Beth M.
Beth M5 years ago

Do they realize how stupid they sound?

Allen Pierce
Allen Pierce5 years ago

Nicole, I think the Senator in question, Sithembile Mlotshwa, is a woman; but I could be wrong. The last paragraph of the piece states "... when SHE proposed that in order to curb the spread of HIV, men in the country should be administered with a drug to limit their sex drive to one day a month" (caps added). On the whole, it sounds like she has a number of issues with men in general, and sees "sex gadgets" and "drugs to limit sex drive for men" as a catch-all solution.

This is certainly not a reasoned approach to dealing with STDs or sexual activity in captive populations.

Nicole Bergeron
Nicole Bergeron5 years ago

People can go with out food and clothes but not sex? Does he know something about the biology of humans that I do not? Or is he just mental?

Elaine A.
Elaine Al Meqdad5 years ago

I guess the Warden can simple tell the men to form a circle, so the man in front can get some!

nicola w.
Jane H5 years ago

speechless....talk about the stupidest thing I have read for years ..and I read a lot of junk.