—–A Lusaka-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Zango Youth Consortium, wants to appeal before the Legal and Justice Reforms Sector Commission for the second time not to advocate for gay rights but to discuss many pressing issues affecting young people in Zambia.
Zango Youth Consortium has come under criticism from Church bodies and various organisations for advocating for gay rights in Zambia during their submission to the Legal and Justice Sector Reforms
Commission in Lusaka recently.
Consortium Chairperson, Kaimbo Katengo, has told ZANIS that his organisation could not appear before the commission to withdraw the submission after heavy criticism from many Zambians because the submission contained various issues that are of importance to the nation.
Mr Katengo stated that he made a public apology in the media to all the members of the public which he said was enough but could not withdraw the submission because it was made from a well-researched position and consultation with stakeholders.
He said withdrawing the submission would render many other issues that were addressed in the submission useless hence his decision to let it stand that way.
He, however, disclosed that the consortium will consider asking the commission to arrange a special session for the youth movement to make further submission in many other issues affecting them.
Mr Katengo said the special session should be in camera, noting that after the controversial submission the consortium made to the commission, people have a wrong picture of his organisation.
When asked whether he would want the special session to further discuss gay rights in secret, Mr Katengo stated that gay rights is not one of the topics the consortium wants to table with the commission but matters affecting the minority groups in Zambia.
He added that the rights of the minority groups, such as the persons with disability, are not recognised and respected in Zambia hence the need for advocacy for them.
He noted that most learning institutions and public buildings in the country cannot be accessed by people who are physically challenged which he said should be addressed.
He said government should come up with laws to punish people who deliberately discriminate persons with disability in the country.
The Legal and Justice Sector Reforms Commission, which is being chaired
by Frederick Chomba, has been conducting public sittings to receive
submissions on how the legal sector could be improved and so far the
commission has covered Lusaka province.