Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa won’t be campaigning for gay rights anytime soon as he focuses his attention on other priorities for Zimbabweanians.

During a recent appearance on CNN’s “Quest Means Business,” Mnangagwa said he refused to be dissuaded from upholding the nation’s constitution, which strictly forbids the marriage of same-sex couples. As it pertains to gay rights in general, the president argued it was not his “duty” to campaign for the civil rights of gay and lesbian Zimbabweans.

“I’m a constitutionalist,” he told reporter Richard Quest who pressed him for a promise to push for gay rights. Quest followed by asking Mnangagwa to lead a campaign to which he responded, “Those people who want [same-sex rights] are the people who must canvas for such things; if they are able to win a majority in amending the constitution, they will amend it.”

Mnangagwa’s reluctance only appeared to agitate Quest who further pressed him on the issue. The president refused to back down from his stance, however.

“It’s my duty to obey my constitution,” he said, adding that he goes by the majority view of his people. Mnangagwa further added that his priorities today are to grow his economy and increase the standard of life for his people.



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