Peter Tatchell's Hilarious Story Of The First Time He Met Robert Mugabe

16 November 2017, 13:30

Peter Tatchell told LBC of the moment he made Robert Mugabe spit out his tea in shock when they met in 1997.

The gay rights campaigner has an interesting history with the deposed Zimbabwean dictator, which included being beaten by his bodyguards after trying to perform a citizen's arrest.

But speaking to Ian Collins, he recalled a much funnier moment with the Zimbabwean President.

Peter Tatchell has campaigned against President Mugabe
Peter Tatchell has campaigned against President Mugabe. Picture: PA

He said: "I managed to sneak in with a Sky TV crew into the VIP Lounge where he was having afternoon tea. And I made my way through all the reporters managed to get to speak to him.

"This is the first time 'dI ever met I'd ever met the guy and I said to him: 'President Mugabe, it's lovely to meet you. I used to help fundraise for medical kit for the Zimbabwe Freedom Movement during the war against white minority rule.'

"And he beamed and shook my hand and said: 'Thank you so much, it's people like you who helped us win our freedom. We thank you so much.'

"And then he said to me, 'And what are you doing now?'

"He was having a cup of tea and I said 'Well now I campaign for gay rights.' And he coughed and spluttered and his tea went everywhere."

He then went on to tell the story about when he tried to arrest President Mugabe in 1999 - and ended up getting beaten up twice by his enforcers.