Youth NGO petitions Commission over gay rights

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A Lusaka based Non Governmental

Organisation, Zango Youth Consortium has petitioned the Legal and

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Justice Sector Reforms Commission to come up with a law that will put

an end to discrimination against gays and lesbians in Zambia.

 

Consortium Chairperson Kaimbo Katengo told the Commission this morning

that Zambian citizens who are practicing homosexuality in the country

have suffered discrimination for merely belonging to the minority

group which he said should be enshrined in the penal code to protect them.

Mr. Katengo explained that all Zambian citizens should be treated

equally regardless of their sexual orientation and wondered why the

Judiciary has not come out to help the minority group who include

the homosexuals.

 

He disclosed that a research that he undertook has discovered that homosexuality is

being practiced in Zambian Secondary Schools and Universities by both students

and lecturers.

 

He narrated that he had witnessed the homosexually practice when he

was at Kafue Boys Secondary School and when he was at the University

of Zambia where he disclosed that even some lectures had affairs with

fellow male students.

 

He praised the schools authorities at Kafue Boys Schools for

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protecting boys who practiced homosexuality saying the same could be

done at the national level.

 

Mr. Katengo who spoke so passionate about same sex relations said most

Zambians have learned to accept homosexuality except for a few people

who hold instruments of power who he said are violating the rights of

the minority in Zambia.

 

He added that even the punishment for people convicted on charges of

homosexuality which stands at minimum of 14 years should be reduced as

it is too long saying gay rights in Africa is not alien as it has

existed for many years including during Christ’s time.

 

He however stated that his organisation was not advocating for a

normless society but merely want all citizens to be treated as equal

beings before the law with full human rights.

 

But Director of Public Prosecution Mutembo Nchito noted that despite

homosexuality not being a crime according to the laws of Zambia, it is

against societal norms and also against the declaration of the nation

as a Christian nation.

 

He said because of its conflict with the societal norms and values of

the country, homosexuality is deemed unnatural in Zambia just like

incest and bestiality saying a line should be clearly be drawn.

 

The Homosexual petition sent the house into mixed facial reactions

with commissioners and the public who attended the sittings shaking

their heads while others holding their chins in what looked like a

shocking matter.

 

Recently a Kapiri Mposhi magistrate court acquitted two people on allegations of homosexuality which was widely published in the local media.

 

Another Lusaka man caused laughter in the council chamber when he

submitted that there should not be regulation to the trading hours of

liquor in Zambia as doing so is against human rights and also against

the declaration of Zambia as a liberal economy.

 

Mr. Mutonga noted that drunkards should be consulted when making laws

noting that non alcohol consumers have made laws to disadvantage those

that drink alcohol.

 

And Mr. Mtonga has appealed to the commission to consider reviewing

the laws to remove the Public Order Act and allow people to enjoy both

the freedom of movement and expression.

 

But Commission Chairperson Frederick Chomba explained that limiting

liquor trading hours is meant to allow people to engage into

meaningful economic activities and not be drinking the whole day and

night.

 

He said Zambia should not be turned into a country of drunkards in the

name of upholding human rights or trying to please everyone.

 

The Commission started its public sittings today in Lusaka and about 11

petitioners  appeared.

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