Robert Mugabe , the president of Zimbabwe , has waged a violent campaign against LGBT people , arguing that before colonisation, Zimbabweans did not engage in homosexual acts.  His first major public condemnation of homosexuality was in August 1995, during the Zimbabwe International Book Fair .  He told an audience: "If you see people parading themselves as lesbians and gays, arrest them and hand them over to the police!"  In September 1995, Zimbabwe's parliament introduced legislation banning homosexual acts.  In 1997, a court found Canaan Banana , Mugabe's predecessor and the first President of Zimbabwe, guilty of 11 counts of sodomy and indecent assault .