Zambia, Africa

Zambia was occupied by the British as a protectorate of Northern Rhodesia towards the end of the nineteenth century. On 24 October 1964, it gained independence with the new name of Zambia. Zambia's economy has been traditionally dominated by the copper mining industry; however the government has recently been pursuing an economic diversification program. During the 1970s, the country began sliding into a poverty from which it has not recovered. The growing population strains the economic growth and HIV/AIDS is widespread. The average per capita income is $395, placing Zambia as one of the world's poorest countries. Homosexuality is illegal in Zambia and there is no recognition of legal rights for same-sex couples. Section 157 applies to "any act of gross indecency" committed between males, "whether in public or in private", and classifies such acts as felonies punishable by imprisonment for five years. The law also includes lesbian homosexuality. LGBT Travelers should check out our new Zambia Gay Lodging Directory.


News & Reports:


Zambian President Pardons Two Gay Men After Ousting US Ambassador

Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has released two gay men from prison months after he booted the US ambassador to Zambia in a diplomatic spat that centered on LGBTQ rights and international aid. Zambia’s president has pardoned two gay men whose arrests and 15-year sentences on anti-LGBTQ sodomy charges triggered diplomatic friction and culminated in… Read more »

Zambia Wants U.S. Ambassador Out for Defending Gay Couple

Zambian President Edgar Lungu wants the U.S. ambassador to leave the country after the diplomat criticized the African state for sentencing a gay couple to 15 years behind bars for having a consensual relationship. “We have complained officially to the American government, and we are waiting for their response because we don’t want such people… Read more »

Gay Couple In Zambia Gets 15-Year Prison Term; U.S. Ambassador Says He’s ‘Horrified’

A gay male couple has been sentenced to 15 years in prison under Zambia’s colonial-era law that prohibits gay sex. U.S. Ambassador Daniel Foote said in a statement that the was “horrified” by the sentence. “I was personally horrified to read yesterday about the sentencing of two men, who had a consensual relationship, which hurt… Read more »

Zambia president won’t budge on gay rights even for international aid

There will be no discussion on gay rights’ The president of Zambia said he would not impose ‘gay rights’ on his citizens in exchange for international aid. Edgar Lungu made the comments during a visit to the State House by the outgoing Swedish ambassador to Zambia, Henrik Cederin. During the visit, Lungu said he could… Read more »

Sodomy in Zambia

On July 3, a court in Kapiri Mposhi, in Zambia, acquitted Philip Mubiana and James Mwape. They had been held in jail for almost fourteen months, charged with homosexual sex under Zambia’s sodomy law, which carries a sentence of up to fourteen years. (NOTE: see comments) The presiding judge didn’t comment on the justice of… Read more »

Despite acquittal, trial revealed deep Zambian injustices

The arrest, trial, year-long detention and recent acquittal of Philip Mubiana and James Mwape on homosexuality charges demonstrate much that’s wrong with Zambia’s legal, political and social life, along with a few strengths, lawyer Anneke Meekotter writes in the Southern Africa Litigation Centre blog. In the article, she discusses: Political statements “bordering on hate speech.”… Read more »

US, German support for two men accused of homosexuality disappoints Government

Government is disappointed at the conduct of some diplomats accredited to Zambia who went to Kapiri Mposhi to show solidarity for two men accused of practising homosexuality, Ministry of Foreign Affairs permanent secretary George Zulu says. On Monday, United States charge d’affaires David Young, German ambassador to Zambia Bernd Finke and UNAIDS country co-ordinator Helen… Read more »

Zambian Minister Confirms Government Won’t Recognize Gay Citizens’ Rights

The foreign affairs minister of Zambia says his government will not recognize the rights of its gay citizens because to do so would contradict that country’s Christian values. Zambia’s foreign affairs minister, Gabriel Namulambe, says homosexuality is an affront to Zambia as a Christian Nation and that foreign dignitaries who came to his country should… Read more »

LGBT in Zambia: ‘How many more lives will be ruined?’

In response to the latest court case against alleged homosexuals in Zambia, the leader of the Zambian human rights organization Friends of Rainka has called for an end to persecution of LGBT people. Juliet Mphande, executive director of Friends of Rainka, said: ”The situation for LGBTI persons in Zambia becomes more urgent than ever. How… Read more »

Zambia: Gay rights activist acquitted of immorality charges

A Zambian magistrate has acquitted a gay rights activist charged with an offence against public morality over pro-gay comments he made on television.Zambia: Gay rights activist acquitted of immorality charges A magistrate in Zambia on Tuesday acquitted a gay rights activist charged with an offence against public morality over comments he made on television in… Read more »

How to help victims of anti-gay laws in Zambia

How can people help those who are facing criminal charges in Zambia on the basis of their sexual orientation or their advocacy of LGBT rights? The Southern Africa Litigation Center has a suggestion — write to your government to find out what your embassy in Zambia is doing on this issue. “Embassies are involved in… Read more »

43 anti-LGBT violations in Zambia; ‘accident waiting to happen’

In the midst of a crackdown on homosexuals, Zambia has been the scene of at least 43 LGBT-related violations of people’s rights in the past six months, according to a new report by the local LGBT activist organization Friends of Rainka. Even worse incidents could occur, the report suggests, because “the situation for LGBTI persons… Read more »

Justice delayed, justice denied for 2 in Zambian gay trial

Supporters of two young Zambian men facing homosexuality charges say the men are being denied a fair trial. Philip Mubiana and James Mwape, who have been denied bail, have been jailed for five months while their trial is delayed again and again. In the previous attempt at continuing the trial, on Aug. 28, the scheduled… Read more »

Zambian activist must stand trial for opposing anti-gay law

The Lusaka High Court in Zambia yesterday rejected an appeal by AIDS activist Paul Kasonkomona, who is charged with “soliciting for immoral purposes” because he said on television last spring that Zambia should repeal its law against homosexual activity. Such laws in 38 African countries and 76-plus countries worldwide obstruct the fight against HIV/AIDS because… Read more »

Lusaka men caught having sex arrested

A Lusaka man of Barrastone Park has been arrested for sodomising another male of Chilenje South contrary to section 155 of the penal code of the laws of Zambia. Police acting spokesperson Rae Hamoonga said Harrison Jere of unknown age and house number of Barrastone Park was arrested for engaging consensual sodomy with Jackson Musonda,… Read more »

5 months in Zambian jail as gay trial falters; no eyewitnesses

Observers in Zambia supplied this information about the ongoing trial of Philip Mubiana and James Mwape, who could face up to 14 years in prison on charges of homosexual activity: The clock keeps ticking in the homosexuality trial of James Mwape and Philip Mubiana in Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia. They’re heading toward five months in jail… Read more »

Homosexuality at issue in 2 trials in Zambia this week

New Age Online published a preview of court action scheduled for this week in Zambia. Excerpts: Two high-profile cases involving a suspected gay couple and a [human rights] activist come back-to-back in Zambian courts this week raising concerns over growing homophobia. Rights activist Paul Kasonkomona, 38, returns to court Tuesday after his arrest in April… Read more »

Africa: Few Programmes Target Gay Men, Other MSM and Transgendered in Southern Africa, Study Says

Analysis Despite the Global Fund’s progressive policies on the inclusion of gay men, other men who have sex with men and transgender individuals (GMT) in programmes supported by the Fund, only a tiny fraction of the money spent by the Fund in six countries in Southern Africa has targeted this population. This is one of… Read more »

‘Gays Can Go To Hell’ Acting Zambia President Says He Is Vindicated

Lusaka, Zambia – Acting President Edgar Lungu says he feels vindicated over his recent anti-gay remarks following the protests that were held in Paris, France over same sex marriages. Mr Lungu, who is also Minister of Home Affairs, says the clashes against gay marriages in France are a testimonythat Zambia made the right decision in… Read more »

Zambia: Stop Prosecuting People for Homosexuality

Drop Charges, Cease Invasive Exams, Protect Rights of Accused (Nairobi) – Zambian authorities should dismiss all charges and release two men arrested for engaging in homosexual acts, Human Rights Watch said. The police should immediately cease forensic anal examinations, which are intrusive, invasive and constitute cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment in violation of international law.… Read more »

Zambia gay couple tortured, jailed without food and water

Rights groups slam Zambia for jailing gay couple based on rumours and forcing them to undergo anal probe tests Zambia police have arrested a gay couple forcing them to undergo anal probe test, denying them legal representation on the charges of having sex ‘against the order of nature’. Phil Mubiyana and James Mwape have been… Read more »

Why such silence amid Zambians’ anti-gay storm?

Sowing poisonous seeds in Zambia Human rights worker Chivuli Ukwimi has harsh words for human rights organizations that stood silently by as a “storm of homophobic bigotry and hate-speech” broke out in Zambia this month shortly after the European Union invited proposals for grants to support human rights there. He is similarly critical of religious… Read more »

Zambia threatens further criminalization of gays after human rights activist’s arrest

The Zambian Government has suggested that it will introduce harsher punishments for LGBT people after a human rights activist appeared on television to discuss gay rights Zambian Government ministers have suggested that penalties for LGBT people may be increased following the arrest of human rights activist Paul Kasonkomona after he appeared on Zambian television to… Read more »

Zambia: Gay rights activist Paul Kasonkomona granted bail

A gay rights activist and HIV campaigner has been granted bail in Zambia, having called for same-sex relationships to be decriminalised. Paul Kasonkomona was arrested last Sunday following a live television appearance in which he argued for same-sex relationships to be decriminalised in the African nation. Officers reportedly tried to cut the interview short, but… Read more »

Zambia police refuse to release ailing gay rights activist

Police in Zambia are balking at releasing anti-AIDS and human rights activist Paul Kasonkomona from jail even though his supporters have provided the required guarantees that he would return to face court proceedings. His supporters appealed today to Zambian leaders and international groups to help win his release, saying that Kasonkomona’s continued detention poses a… Read more »

Zambian activists seek halt to gay manhunt

The Zambian human rights group Friends of Rainka has called for an end to a police manhunt for activists and LGBTI people that began after four allegedly gay couples tried to register same-sex marriages in Lusaka during the Easter weekend. On April 7, police arrested anti-AIDS and human rights activist Paul Kasonkomona after appearances on… Read more »

Zambia gay rights activist Paul Kasonkomona arrested

A prominent gay rights activist has been arrested in Zambia after appearing on a live television calling for same-sex relations to be decriminalised. Paul Kasonkomona had been charged with “inciting the public to take part in indecent activities”, police chief Solomon Jere told AFP news agency. He was detained as he stepped out of the… Read more »

‘Article 60 Will Promote Homosexuality’

The delegates to the provincial constitution convention on Thursday vehemently opposed the article, which prescribes affirmative action for the minorities and marginalised groups as an attempt to legalise homosexuality in Zambia. Practising homosexuality or lesbianism is currently a criminal offence in Zambia under Chapter 87 of the Penal Code. After protracted debate during the plenary,… Read more »

Zambia: Gay Rights Impossible in Country – LAZ

LAZ vice-president Martin Musaluke said yesterday that it was unattainable to respect gay rights because homosexuality is prohibited in the country and that people convicted of the offence were liable to face stiff punishment. He was reacting to United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s statement on his recent visit to Zambia that people should… Read more »

Zambia’s Religious Leaders Upset Over Tying Aid To LGBT Rights

It should not be surprising that many churches and church organizations in Africa are angry over the decision by the US Government to tie foreign aid to assurances of LGBT rights. Homosexuality is illegal in almost every African nation, and some have extremely stiff penalties for those who are convicted of being gay. In Zambia,… Read more »

Gay Zambia News & Reports

Also see: Behind the Mask LGBT African website 1a In Zambia , Breaking Rocks for Meager Existence 8/96 (non-gay background story) 1 Zambians Drop Ties with USA Episcopal Church Over Gay Bishop 12/03 2 AIDS Now Compels Africa to Challenge Widows’ ‘Cleansing’ 5/05 2a Prison sex abuse slammer 5/07 2b New Study of MSM to… Read more »