Ethics and Crisis in Africa

A Critic of the Rights-based Approach to Homosexuality

  • Vengesai Chimininge Zimbabwe Open University
  • Clemence Makamure Zimbabwe Open University


Issues relating to homosexuality are one of the primary topics of moral debates in Africa. This is necessitated by the different perceptions that Africans have towards homosexuality. Some African societies condemn it while others embrace it with open hands. In Zimbabwe, gays and lesbians have been seen as chaos being unleashed by the profane Western society which is endeavouring to unseat governments and replace them with fiefdoms in the name of human rights. So, the challenges presented by homosexuality in different cultures of the world assume various degrees but in Africa, the phenomenon has raised issues that have proved to be a thorn in the flesh. The view of this paper is that there is moral danger if we base our moral values on the rights-based approach to homosexuality in Zimbabwe. To achieve this, the authors of this article used the qualitative approach which included interviews, published documents and internet sources to glean data. The paper argues that homosexuality is un-African and unnatural sexual perversions that are not only alien, but perceived as outlawed in traditional Zimbabwean societies. The paper discovered that the issue of homosexuality in Zimbabwe and beyond is dividing people through what Oliver Phillips (2010) refers to as ‘Blackmail.’ The paper argues that the best way forward in dealing with issues of homosexuality in Zimbabwe is to use hunhu or ubuntu as the spring board of morality not human rights.

Author Biographies

Vengesai Chimininge, Zimbabwe Open University

Dr. Vengesai Chimininge is a Senior Lecturer with the Zimbabwe Open University, Faculty of Arts and Education. Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy. He also lectures at the Catholic University of Zimbabwe in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences on a part- time basis.

Clemence Makamure, Zimbabwe Open University

Clemence Makamure is Programme Leader and Lecturer at the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) in the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy. He is also a part-time lecturer at the Catholic University of Zimbabwe in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. He has a Master of Arts degree in Religious Studies from the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), Master of Science in Rural and Urban Planning (UZ), Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies (UZ), Diploma in Religious Studies (UZ), Diploma in Project Planning and Management (CCOSA).

How to Cite
CHIMININGE, Vengesai; MAKAMURE, Clemence. Ethics and Crisis in Africa. The Fountain: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 1, p. 77-107, june 2017. ISSN 2520-453X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 23 june 2018.