In most countries on the African continent including North Africa, same-sex relations are illegal and LGBT persons face discrimination and violation of fundamental rights. Homosexual acts are illegal in 38 African countries. In four of these countries (Mauritania, Sudan, 12 northern states in Nigeria and in the southern parts of Somalia) homosexual acts are punishable with death penalty.
In February 2012, Uganda's parliament re-introduced a proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Under the bill, gay and lesbian people in Uganda could face the death penalty for so-called “aggravated homosexuality” – a definition which includes consensual sexual conduct. The bill could significantly hamper the work of human rights defenders and others who find themselves in conflict with the law merely by carrying out their legitimate activities.
Formerly a colony of the British Empire, Zambia inherited the laws and legal system of its colonial master upon independence in 1964. Laws concerning homosexuality have largely remained unchanged since then, and homosexuality is covered by "sodomy laws".
Social attitudes toward LGBT people are mostly negative and coloured by perceptions that homosexuality is immoral and a insanity.
LGBT rights in Zimbabwe are dominated by the fact that male same-sex sexual activity is illegal under laws which date to the Rhodesian and British colonial eras. Since 1995, the government has carried out campaigns against both homosexual men and women. Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe since 1987 recently stated that homosexuality does not belong in Zimbabwe and that it violates women's rights by denying the union of men and women needed to bear children.