Yet another round of anti-gay hysteria in Zambia. Clergy and politicians in the Southern African nation are threatening to campaign against the opposition Patriotic Front after its leader apparently indicated a softened position on gay rights. PF President Michael Sata reportedly told visiting Danish journalists that Zambia could recognize gay and lesbian rights under its existing constititution.
Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOCA) overseer Bishop Peter Ndhlovu said in an interview that the church has embarked on programmes aimed at sensitising and educating people on the dangers of voting for leaders advocating for gay rights. Bishop Ndhlovu said Zambia needs leaders who are biblical and have values. He said it is inhuman and an abomination for the country to have advocates of gay rights. "The church is coming together to hold powerful prayers and public meetings to educate people on the dangers of voting for leaders advocating gay rights. It is cross-denominational," he said.
Bishop Ndhlovu said his church will go flat-out to campaign against the PF and any other political party promoting gay rights. He said Mr Sata has run out of ideas and if he and the Danish journalists want to promote gay rights, it will not work in Zambia.
Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) executive director Pukuta Mwanza said in a separate interview, "We will continue campaigning against leaders advocating gay rights because we do not want our country to have such bad laws that promote inhuman ways of life."
You may recall in March 2009, Zambian Vice President George Kaduna told members of parliament and journalists to "report any homosexuals" to the police. In December 2010, the MMD and UPND parties rejected calls to decriminalize gay sex and called the suggestion an "abomination." Sata's PF took no position.
Same-sex sexual activity is illegal for both males and females in Zambia. The Zambian government does not permit advocacy of LGBT rights, reports the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (PDF). The Southern African nation boasts a 16 percent HIV rate and is one of the world's poorest. Priorities, priorities.