Zambia becomes the latest nation to slam British Prime Minister David Cameron's suggestion that aid should be decreased to countries that failed to respect gay rights. Cameron made the announcement at the recent 54-nation Commonwealth meeting in Australia.
British High Commissioner to Zambia Tom Carter clarified that the statement issued by the prime-minister does not apply to Zambia for now. He told radio Phoenix Thursday morning that the UK sees it as its responsibility to protect people of all sexual orientations but that the statement made in Australia was not directed at Zambia.
"He was not talking about Zambia in that case. I cannot talk about other countries. I am here in Zambia and we are very, very happy the way things are going here," said Carter.
Zambia’s chief government spokesperson Given Lubinda said the nation would only enact laws supported by its citizens and in line with their culture. ... He said Zambia was a sovereign state and would make independent decisions on which laws to enact. "Zambia will not be pressured to formulate laws or policies by any foreign government," Mr Lubinda told Lusaka-based Hot FM Radio.
Clergy and politicians in the southern African nation were "outraged" in May 2010 after international donors made a similar suggestion and asked them to relax its harsh anti-gay laws.
AIn March 2011, clergy and politicians in Zambia threatened to campaign against Michael Sata—formerly leader of the opposition Patriotic Front—after he indicated a softened position on gay rights. Sata later won the presidency in peaceful elections in September.
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). Former Presidents Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia and Festus Mogae of Botswana recently called for the decriminalization of sodomy statutes across Africa.
Zambia is rich in copper mineral wealth, but is one of the world's poorest nations, boasts a 16 percent HIV rate and the average life expectancy is only 4o years old. Priorities, priorities.
You May Have Missed:
Zambian VP: Report Homosexuals to Police
Zambian Parties Reject Gay Rights as "Outrageous"
ZAMBIA: Outrage After Leader Signals Pro-Gay Stance
Tanzania Slams UK Threat to Withdraw Aid
Former Leaders Botswana, Zambia: Decriminalize Sodomy