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08 Dec 2011- Bulawayo, Zimbabwe- Residents and civic organisations have blasted Bulawayo Mayor, Thaba Moyo (MDC-T) for accepting a donation of litter bins from a local gay and lesbian pressure group.

Councillor Moyo received the pink rubbish bins from the Sexual Rights Centre during a brief function at the Large City Hall on Tuesday.

Bulawayo United Residents Association secretary-general, Samuel Moyo said the local authority should have consulted residents.

“The issue of gays and lesbians is a very controversial national problem and council was therefore supposed to consult the people as accepting the donation could be misconstrued to mean the local authority subscribes to gay rights,” Moyo told The Chronicle.

“The gesture in itself is noble but the decision to accept or reject the bins should have come from the people not councilors.”

But Cllr Moyo defended the donation and warned against vandalism of the bins.

"We are a council (for) all (residents) despite race, colour or creed, and our donors are Bulawayo citizens and they reserve the right to donate to whoever they want to and we have also a right to accept donations from whoever we want," he said.

"(And) let me say whoever vandalises those bins will be made to pay."

MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai has also been under-fire for backing gay rights in a recent interview.

President Robert Mugabe says gays and lesbians are worse than “pigs and dogs” and insists including gay rights into the country’s constitution is out of the question.

"That issue is not debatable, it's not up for discussion," Mugabe said in a recent interview.

"It is just madness, insanity. The ancestors will turn in their graves should we allow this to happen."

Tsvangirai initially backed the Zanu PF leader, remarking: “I fully support the President…. Women make up 52 percent of the population... There are more women than men, so why should men be proposing to men?"

However, he spectacularly backtracked during an interview with the BBC.

"It's a very controversial subject in my part of the world. My attitude is that I hope the constitution will come out with freedom of sexual orientation, for as long as it does not interfere with anybody. To me, it's a human right," he said.

Meanwhile, the MDC-Ncube faction said it was not surprised Cllr Moyo chose to accept the pink litter bins.

“To us this is not a surprise. Tsvangirai and his people have been advocating for gays and lesbians rights hence they accepted this donation with open hands,” organising secretary, Qhubani Moyo said.