Last week, he issued a statement that condemned the Zambian government and the judiciary for sentencing two men of Kapiri Mposhi to 15 years imprisonment for having sex against the order of nature, an act that is prohibited under under the Laws of Zambia. But what he probably forgot is that the laws of our country are very clear on this matter such that anyone found in the act is liable to prosecution. Treating such a matter will purely be based on what the law said and not what the donors want.
On Monday, he held a press briefing in Lusaka where he said he has nothing but the highest respect for Zambians and said it is up to Zambians to decide whether or not they want to embrace homosexuality.
He also said it is not his place to tell Zambia what or what not to do and hoped the Zambian government will work towards improving its relations with the American government.
“I have consistently pledged that it’s not my place to tell Zambia what to do, but that I would always be honest and frank. The exceptional yearly assistance from American to Zambian citizens, and the constitution of Zambia, should enable all of us to express our opinions without acrimonious accusations or actions. I hope the government of Zambia commits to improve its decaying relationship with the United States, but that is a decision for it to make…The U.S. government is far from perfect, and we always welcome feedback, including from Zambia through your embassy in Washington. If we didn’t, we might not have changed our repugnant laws allowing slavery and other human rights contraventions, historical misdeeds for which I passionately apologize.
I highly appreciate the exceptional welcome and friendship extended by Zambia’s wonderful people throughout my two years here, and I have nothing but the highest respect for your citizens…I agree that this this issue is completely up to Zambians to decide. You are blessed with a diversity of Christian denominations…”
The laws that are in place in our country today are the same laws that existed even pre-independence. Nothing has changed today for Zambia to be shamed for sticking to values it believes in. In fact, this is not the first time that the Zambian judiciary has implemented the laws on homosexual acts. The law is the law; it cannot and will never ever be twisted to suit particular interests, unless it is changed in total agreement with the majority of citizens and parliament.
Going forward, it will make a big difference to have our government and cooperating partners, including donors and diplomats, focusing on critical matters that will see Zambia develop. Imagine the amount of strategies we can come up with to end load shedding if we dedicated the same amount of time on sorting out the energy crisis! Imagine what can be achieved in the agriculture sector if we dedicated this same energy to ensuring all the vulnerable but viable farmers have their farming inputs way before the onset of the rainy season! Imagine what we can achieve if we dedicated a lot of time and energy to ensuring every child has access to education, property healthcare, clean and safe drinking water and decent shelter!
These are issues that Zambians want to hear and extensively discuss and not clear cut matters that are guided by the laws of the country.